I have waited over a year for the opportunity to play in a regular season game again. I was excited to be on the field and not the sideline. Somehow, crutching up and down the sideline was not as fun for me. It was time to put everything to the test.
Southern Oregon plays in Medford, OR so on Friday afternoon, I got off work early and trekked down I-5. It’s about a 7-8 hour drive depending on traffic. I made good time until I got held up in Portland for about an hour in rush hour. I arrived at the hotel around 9:30PM. This was just enough time for me to unpack and pass out really.
The next morning I slept in as long as possible which according to my body clock, is about 7AM. We had a film session at 10:30AM in the breakfast nook. Then we picked up lunch and took it back to the hotel to eat.
We chilled for a couple of hours watching TV. I stayed with Adrienne, Julia, and McCray. Apparently, Julia has never seen Coming to America before which struck me as insane as it’s one of the funniest movies of all time. To my horror, Bring It On followed.
We had a walk through in the parking lot and then traveled to the field. The locker rooms didn’t open until 4 but we got excited and most of us were there around 3:30.
That is when this video footage happened:
Then we got ready in the locker room. I was trying to check my phone so much as my beloved Oregon Ducks were about to play McCray’s North Carolina Tar Heels in the Final Four, the exact time we were playing our game. I kept updating everyone on the Gonzaga-South Carolina game.
It was fun to be out on the field on warm ups. I couldn’t help but feel home again. I got voted to be a captain this year and went out of the coin toss. We lost and they deferred so we were getting the ball first.
This game was interesting to say the least. We are very talented this year but have some work to do. Offensively, we moved the ball all over the place but killed ourselves in the red zone. We would get it into range and then have a penalty, a bad snap, a fumble, a missed assignment and kill our drives. I’m sure we left ample points on the field. Our running backs ran hard. I think with some time to gel more and become more cohesive those drives will start producing more points.
To Southern Oregon’s credit, they play hard. For a small market team I’ve always been impressed with them. They should compete in tier 3 playoffs again this year.
On defense, it was interesting because Southern Oregon doesn’t run the ball much. Most of our defense play was spent in coverage. We played well I thought but I think we could also be more cohesive on this side of the ball.
Overall, it’s a win. It was not the prettiest game I’ve ever been a part of, but there were some flashes of good play and I think once we settle down and gel we will have a good season.
I ended the game well on the last defensive series. I blew up back-to-back attempts for the Gades to throw it into the flat. Then helped stuff a dive. It was a getting my feet wet type of game.
This week we play the Portland Fighting Shockwave. From those that have followed my blog, we are big rivals. Last year they beat us twice and for the first time in years did we lose the division title. They had a good year at the same time we had injuries and the first game we played last year was a total disaster for us. We would like to right the ship this year.
I am personally excited because I must have played the Shockwave a least a dozen times in my career and they always bring out the best in me. I like physical teams. I also know almost their entire team from playing with or against them for years. It should be fun!
Stay tuned for the next episode.