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Salute to the Champs

4 November 2008

Samuel’s 7th grade football season with the De Zavala Wolves is now over.  It was a scary week; last Monday on a blitz just before halftime in the playoff semifinals against Bowie Middle School, he & the weak-side defensive end crushed the opposing quarterback…and each other.  I was running the chains and immediately – I mean, *immediately* – thought Samuel had broken his neck.  (Assignment:  Go to the blackboard and write the following 100 times:  “Hit what you see, and see what you hit.”)  Coach pulled him out and sent us to the hospital for X-rays, which (thank God!) were negative.  But the orthopedic surgeon would not let him play in the championship game, which was OK with mom and me but a total bummer for Samuel.

To his credit, though, Samuel kept a good attitude about the whole thing.  As for me, my heart was up in my throat all week long.

Here was the scene last evening, late in the 4th after a slugfest against our bitterest rivals, the Bonham Middle School Mustangs.


The boys got to play the championship game at Dick Bivins Stadium.

The boys got to play the championship game at Dick Bivins Stadium.



We had beaten them 7-0 during the regular season, and last night’s game was no picnic.  After racing out to a 12-0 start, we had to come back from a 13-12 deficit in the third quarter to win.

Here are the champs right after the final whistle:


Samuel is the tall redhead in the back row, just to left of center.

Samuel is the tall redhead in the back row, just to left of center.

And with their (wonderful) coaches:


Head coach Jim Clark is under the felt hat, far left.

Head coach Jim Clark is under the felt hat, far left.

Finally, the post-game debriefing before getting on the bus:


Congratulations to the 2008 Amarillo ISD 7th Grade Silver League Champions, the undefeated (9-0) Wolves from Lorenzo De Zavala Middle School, including Coach Clark, Coach Head, and Coach Hallum.  Thanks, coaches, for taking such good care of our boys and teaching them so well to be good football players, loyal teammates, and good sports.

I would also be remiss if I did not thank Joe Ted Davidson, our 6th grade coach in Kids Incorporated football last year, for giving Samuel a shot to play backup quarterback behind his talented son, Tucker.  If it had not been for Coach Davidson, Samuel would not have had the chance to direct the offense this year when Slater was out with illness.  Joe Ted, I owe you more than I can say.

And Slater, great job out there last night.  You did us all proud in a huge game.

Ethan, as far as I am concerned, the game ball has to go to you.  Three fumble recoveries in the first quarter (two of them for turnovers) and about two dozen tackles, many of them for losses…

Offensive line:  some of those holes were like the parting of the Red Sea.

Beau:  breathtaking.  Somehow you find a way to shake off those would-be tacklers and shift it into overdrive.  Great season as MLB, too; you make everyone else better.

Matthew R., congratulations on a clutch reception on 4th and 5 in the red zone when we were driving to retake the lead.  Frank and Sunny must be really proud.  And way to shut ’em down with some physical play as MLB late in the game, when you could have been coasting.

Brandt, do you know how crucial that tackle was on 3rd down at 18-13?  Your shoulder paid the price for it, but it was a key play during a threatening Mustang drive.

Shawn, that TD reception to retake the lead was a thing of beauty.  Glad your wrist healed in time for you to play one last game.

Defense:  WOW.

Wolves, you hung in there against a physical, hungry team and came out on top.  Well done, all of you.


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