Monday, December 1, 2008

Day 2 games 3&4... the playoffs are half over

Well, the third week of the football playoffs is over now. My total mileage driven for covering the playoffs over the last three weeks (including the volleyball championships last week) is up to 1,729 miles. The number of local teams has dwindled down quite a bit, it now down to a fairly manageable level.
Saturday was the day for the big schools to play, since I shot the little ones the day before. The two local city schools that were still alive in the playoffs, Wylie (Class 3A) and Cooper (Class 4A) were playing 150 miles east of Abilene in Aldeo, a southwestern suburb of Ft. Worth. The good news (for me) was they were both playing in the same stadium. The bad news: the games were at 1pm and 7:30pm, which meant a LONG break in between games.
The first game was a great game. Wylie was playing China Spring, the #3 ranked team in the state. Talent-wise China Spring was stacked, however, I learned last year never to count Wylie out of a game despite how outclassed they are in the talent department. Well, Wylie ended up winning the game 24-21. It was the typical game Wylie has played this year, tough defense not a lot of offense. This team is really impressive in that they are not flashy by any means they just win, which is what they did this game.
Like I said, it was a great game to watch, however, there wasn't a whole lot of offense going on. It was a lot of good fundamental plays. Luckily for me there were a few big plays made, and for a couple I was even in the right position to catch the play!
As I said earlier there was about a four hour gap between the two games, and since they were in the same stadium, I sat in the press box and sent my pix, then worked on the slideshow. There was no sense in leaving, it was cold and Aledo isn't too close enough to anything that I could get to after sending my photos. So, I sat in the press box and put together the photo slideshow for the web, which I was able to get done before the next game, and that saved me from being up all night too, which is alway s nice.
The Cooper game was quite as exciting. They were dominated by Denton Guyer's big offensive and defensive lines from the start and never really got anything going. Heck, they didn't even get a first down until almost the end of the second quarter. Not something that helped me a whole lot with early deadlines and a photo page to fill from my two games. Luckily I got plenty from the Wylie game. The photos from the photo page needed to be in at halftime. So, I sent what I had, which wasn't all that much.
The second half of the game was a little bit better for Cooper, they at least got their offense moving in the right direction. They had a couple big plays but nothing that was going to get them back in the game. And, it seemed like every time they made a big defensive play they turned around and shot themselves in the foot on offense.
One of the big problems with a blowout from the get go, is finding some kind of emotional shot that tells the story of the game. Most of the kids just walked off the field. The disappointment seemed to already have set in. However, after the handshakes and when everyone was leaving the field I was able to spot a couple of the seniors hugging after playing their last game. It pretty much summed up the game.

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