Monday, November 10, 2008

Small town, big expectations...

This year's football season has been completly different from the past. With Abilene High and Cooper now playing in different classifications they couldn't set up their schedules like in the past, so there was a couple of times both teams were out of town, which meant I got to out out of town and shoot games in some of the smaller towns. It's kind of nice to get away from the norm, it allows me to look at things in a different way.
The smaller class games have both their advantages and disadvantages. One of the best parts is with so many area teams, if the writer picks right, it's usually a pretty good game, unlike some of the games I've shot this year, with the starters being pulled after halftime. The bad things of course are awful light (not as big of a problem now with my D3), and finding places to transmit from. Despite these issues it's still nice to get away every now and then. And, with the playoffs coming up, I'll get to do plenty of that over the next few weeks.
This game was between Bangs and Brady for the district 8-2A title. Brady was the clear favorite undefeated coming in to the game, but Bangs was a scrappy defensive team. Both were unbeaten in district. It turned out to be a really good game. The Bangs defense was all it was cracked up to be. No real standout players just a good team and good team speed.
There wasn't a whole lot of offense, something I've grown accustomed to this season. But there were a few big plays on both sides of the ball. And, somehow, I happened to be in the right place for a lot of them. That, coupled with a really cool fog coming in over the field during a timeout in the second quarter made for some really nice photos. It also didn't hurt that Bangs which, had been a traditional power hadn't made the playoffs in a few years and it had been 6 or 7 since they won a district title. The whole team and crowd was going nuts toward the end of the game. That's usually a pretty good indicator that I'm going to get some nice jube shots.
So, the last couple minutes of the game, the long lens came off and the wide angle came out. That's another thing I like a lot about high school games. You can pretty much just go hang out in the bench area shooting features without being thrown out. And towards the end of the game the players were so excited about the win they totally ignored me allowing to make nice photos without worrying about them trying to mug for the camera.
Something else I noticed about Bangs was their coaches were a lot different from the typical coaching staffs I see on Friday nights. The Bangs coaching staff was really animated! Now, plenty of coaches get pissed off at a bad call and will rips the referees, and jump around plenty when things are going bad. But these guys, they were jumping around high fiving kids after big plays and genuinely having a good time. They almost look like kids out there themselves. It was really cool to see. There are way too many people out there who let the stress of their jobs get to them and they miss out on having fun. It happens to me every once in a while, but when I'm out shooting games like this I realize how lucky I am to have such a cool job.

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