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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Cassie's Journal - November 25, 2016

Michael, Tim, and Lucas led our team to the State Championship for the small school division; and did that by playing an amazing game against Clairmont – one of the most successful teams in the State – as well as the defending champs.

Before I get to the game news, let’s do a quick review of our opponent’s recent football history – including against our team.  They beat our team in the championship match in twenty-twelve; Kyle Landry led our team to the Championship over them the next year; and then Clairmont didn’t make it to the big game in twenty-thirteen while we won our second title in a row with Michael and Tim playing on the team for the first time.  Clairmont regained their championship crown last season; and now we have our third championship in four years.  They still have the better record for that by far compared to our school, including four titles and two runner-up honors in the past seven years; but they couldn’t quite keep up with us today.

So here we are – time for the championship game report.  First up, we won by a score of seventy to forty-eight; we had ten touchdowns; and Clairmont scored six with two early field goals that they scored before giving up on that strategy and going for touchdowns on every drive while also going for it on every fourth down.  Michael and Tim each had four touchdowns; including one defensive pick-six for each of them.  Lucas scored the other two touchdowns; and ran for more than two hundred rushing yards on a day when the defenses were far from stellar on both teams.  This game came down to mistakes.  We made two big ones on offense that turned into fourteen points for Clairmont; but they made more mistakes – particularly late in the game.  The one thing that I’m sure everyone watching the game would agree on, though, is that Michael and Tim are an amazing wide receiver duo – and that’s something that is really tough to defend against.

That’s certainly why they were named co-MVP’s for the game at the banquet; but I’m getting ahead of the story.

For this game, Clairmont took the early lead; we tied on our first drive; and then they settled for a field goal on their next drive.  We took the lead after that; they narrowed it to a point with their second field goal; and then we traded touchdowns before starting to build our lead through to the end of the game.  The two pick-sixes weren’t the only turnovers we earned; but they did help to keep us in the lead and put Clairmont off their game plan and in a fight to try and catch up that included taking more risks than they’re used to taking.  They fought to the end, though; which is why we kept scoring touchdowns in the fourth quarter to keep a two-score lead that ended up being three after the second-to-last turnover mistake from a Clairmont receiver that was out of his league against Michael or Tim – and they tried playing him against each of them with no success.

This win was a huge deal for Tim, since he can now claim two championships when Kyle had to settle for one; but it has been a big day for Lucas as Captain too, and while Reid Spencer didn’t earn the MVP award for his amazing stats; he did get the quarterback credit for eight touchdowns.  The only difference between this year and our title game two years ago was that Michael and Tim were so obviously the reason for Reid’s success – and they had a lot of yards after the catch to their credit.

For my part of the adventure, the cheerleading was really great – even though it wasn’t very warm during the game.  Our half-time cheerleading routine was fun for all ages, but geared for the kids as we went Troll-themed complete with a music montage from the new movie and had the big, colorful hair to go with the act.  We couldn’t exactly use that hair for cool tricks like I’ve seen clips of from the movie that I haven’t been able to go and see; but we did add in some flips and aerials that looked pretty cool.  We were certainly a hit with the crowd; and had a lot of fun with it – just as we did with the marching band.

We played Disney Christmas music and had a new marching routine for the championship game.  It wasn’t anything fancy, but it was the music that was a hit anyway; and we do sound really great for a band from a pair of very small schools.

Finally, for the game report, I want to mention that we had a fairly decent-sized group of supporters for our team from home.  Dad, Uncle Adam, Uncle Blaine, and a handful of other family and friends men brought a group of Dads, sons, and cousins to the game – and that really meant a lot to the guys on our team.  Some of Michaels’ cousins were included in that group; so they got to see Michael play – and find out just how good he is at sports.  That’s a lot of driving for one high school game; and they spent more time on the road than they spent watching the game.  It did give them an escape from the shopping day at home, though; so they seemed to be happy about that – and it gave the girls at home a break from them! ;^)

By the way, Rebecca came to the game to see Lucas play his last high school game, but she came later; after working at the Inn for as long as possible before hitting the road for Central State.  That’s a fairly-important bit of news because she was also there to help with the drive home for those of us who couldn’t stay overnight this year because we need to work on Saturday.  I’ll get to that in a bit; but this is likely a good place to back up and cover the news from before the game before moving on to the post-game adventures.

I was up too-early after my nap; got ready in record time; and headed for the school without waking anyone else in the house.  We loaded the buses with the football, band, and cheerleading gear; waited until all teens and tweens were accounted for; and then we hit the road.  That trip would have been more fun if I could have spent the time with Michael, but that wasn’t an option; so Rowen and I had fun with our friends; I had a short nap along the way; and then we were busy after that getting our gear hauled from where the buses were parked to the stadium.

Let’s not get bogged down with those details, but it was more work; and we had to hurry to get done in time to be ready for the game and have something to eat before getting ready for the pre-game festivities that included a lengthy team introduction for Clairmont and the Raiders.  We’ve covered the basics for the game and half-time show; so let’s talk about my afternoon.  Watching the other games was an option, but Michael, Tim, Rowen, and I were among the teens that opted for anything else.  In our case, we went shopping after we’d all gotten cleaned up and the busses were packed and ready to go.  The band and cheerleaders buses were heading back home then after a fast food stop, but most of the guys on the football team are staying overnight; so their bus was available for a shopping mall visit – especially when most of the gear was sent home with the band and equipment buses.

We shopped for a couple of hours; headed for the hotel so that we could get dressed up for the awards banquet; and then we took the bus or other vehicles to the hall where the banquet was being held.  Coaches and players were allowed to have guests – if they ordered enough tickets for that in advance; so Rowen, Rebecca, and I were among the girlfriends of players at the banquet – along with a bunch of parents and a few alternate guests like grandparents or other favorite people.  Michael’s parents couldn’t be there, but Tim’s were – and they were another set of parents that were also among the drivers needed for the teens that had to be home tonight instead of on Saturday.

I don’t have a lot of banquet experience, and don’t plan on saying anything bad about this one; so I’ll mention that the food was okay; and we had lots of time for the meal while waiting for everyone in the room to eat and for the awards ceremony to begin.  The best parts of the night for me – other than spending that time with Michael – were watching Michael and Tim get their joint award and then seeing Coach and Lucas accept the championship trophy for our team.  Yes, our team players all stood for the applause; but they didn’t have all of the players go up to receive the awards for any of the championship trophies.

It was getting late by the time we could head for home.  Michael and I went with Rebecca and Lucas, and while he could have stayed overnight, Rebecca couldn’t; and three out of four of us are needed at the Inn tomorrow – especially because there is more seating available this year while we also don’t have Jacob and Stephanie here to help out with the extra business – even if we do have a few collegians helping out this week.

Cuddling with Michael all the way home worked for me; we napped a bit; had fun talking with Rebecca and Lucas; and Lucas drove the last half of the way home when Rebecca was ready for a break and we stopped for washroom breaks and to pick up a fast food snack.  That might seem like an odd thing to do coming home from a banquet, but the guys were all ready to devour some burgers and fries by then; so we fed them.  Rowen and Tim came home with his parents, but we didn’t all drive together; and I’m sure that they got home before we did because Rebecca and Lucas are both big fans of not getting speeding tickets.  We didn’t have any of that kind of trouble; and the drive home was smooth and painless – especially compared to bouncing around for two and a half hours on a school bus!

We’ve had a really great day, and I’m glad that we won the game too; but it’s late and past-time for me to wrap this up and have a nap before getting up to help with the breakfast shift at the Inn.

After getting home; we unloaded the minivan; Michael walked me home; and I came up to bed because nobody else was still awake – including Chris and Martin.  I don’t yet know if the younger kids just wore all of the adults and teens out while I was gone, but it was heading toward two by then; so maybe my cousins are just growing up and getting more responsible.  I also haven’t heard much news about what everyone was doing around here while we were away; so there may be more news to add with the next update if there is anything really good to report.  There is one bit of news that I can add here; though I had no involvement in it at all.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Sebastian!

While I know nothing yet about how his day went; his birthday is the reason why Uncle Nick didn’t go to the game today.  Five hours of drive time just wouldn’t have been a fun way for Sebastian to spend his birthday; so they stayed home while the older cousins went to the game and then got back in time for the birthday dinner.

Okay, I’m falling asleep; so let’s wrap this up.  I came up to my room; got ready for bed; and then ended up doing some family business work again thanks to doing my email check and finding out that I needed to deal with another minor problem that still took time to get resolved.  I’m going to be working a lot for the rest of the weekend, but hope to fit a bit of family and friends fun into the mix too while my aunts, uncles, and cousins are home.  Stayed tuned for the next report to find out if that happens for me or not, but I’m done with this update; so, until next time...

...May the Magi Force be with you!