Inside the Swarm - BHP

 

 

By: Paul Davis

“Guys, we can’t start out like we did last week,” began coach David Lipsey. “You have to get your minds right between now and the kickoff. You are among the best in III A at this point and you should feel proud to be here. The rest of the III A teams are at home. This is step one. You have four more to go.”

            At that point, coach Mike Massey began his devotion.

            Reading from I Peter 1, Massey talked about growing in the Lord, growing in faith and in the knowledge of the Lord.

            “As Christians we are to live our talk. Talk doesn’t mean anything. People watch you and know what you are about by what you do. We all make mistakes and the challenge we face is to build our actions upon our faith.

            “In football, keeping the momentum is important and that’s true in life as well. As a player and as a team, you don’t want to become ‘satisfied’ with what you can do or what you know. You want to get better.

            “Lou Holtz said, ‘Never stay the same.’ You have to get better or you are actually falling behind others and are getting worse. You have to raise the bar. You are in the first round of the playoffs. Are you satisfied with that? Lots of teams simply want to be able to say that they ‘went to the playoffs.’ People in Union County expect more than that.

            “As a Christian, you don’t want to be satisfied as well. In II Corinthians XXX Paul talks about the importance of being fruitful. Do things to make others happy. Help them. Make sure your everyday walk says who you really are.

            “In Hebrews the Bible talks about being spiritually mature. Read the Word of God and see what it says for yourself. II Peter talks about growing in grace and  knowledge. Grace is free, the State Championship isn’t. People don’t know what you have gone through. You beat Spartanburg and then lost to Dorman and Gaffney and then people started jumping ship.

            “If playing the first round in the playoffs is all you want, this is it. You have to do more. You know we often take things for granted. Last year I took my dog out for a walk and then bring her back to the house. She always goes back in the house but this time she took off after a cat and I chased her. She headed to the Lockhart Highway . I went after her came ‘that close’ to not being here. I assumed that I would be at school that day and I was wrong.

            “Some of you take for granted that you will play tonight. Nothing is guaranteed. Don’t get satisfied as an athlete or as a person. Don’t’ be on the field after the game saying, ‘I wish…..’

            “I want you to close your eyes and visualize a big boulder on the top of a mountain. Two or three of you start to rock the boulder. Eventually you get enough movement that it tips and starts rolling down the mountain. It goes faster and faster and nothing can stop it. Are you like that boulder? Can you generate that kind of momentum? Or are you satisfied with where you are.”

            Coach Lipsey told the team that he had been talking with the other Jacket coaches about the team and that he wanted to tell them what he told the coaches. “I think you have a special bond,” he continued. “I’ve been blessed to be associated with you all. I would be proud if my son grew up to be like you.”

The Defense. “There are six things we need to handle” said defensive coordinator Jay Brannon, “the cutback, the cutback, the cutback and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. If you take care of the cutback, we can make plays all day long. If they start throwing, we’ll go to a three front if we are ahead. You can shut them out if we play our game.

            “You know what this means. Everyone is zero-zero. No next week. The most important thing is the next snap. Play every play like this will be the last snap you ever play. You’ve been sound all year. Play with emotion. The speed will be different. Make them adjust to yours. Secondary get your eyes out of the backfield.  If you see something new, read your keys. When they hit a play, get ready for the next one. Play like you are on fire.”

            “This is Step One to The Dance. Your goal is to leave with the prettiest woman there and a big ring. Only two things matter. The players in the other room and this one.”

            Coach Jon Cudd told the team that it would be a “shame for you to turn your pads in tonight. You’ve played 10 games plus jamborees just to get here. Win, you continue to play. Loose, and we take up your pads.”

            “Five more weeks to go into battle,” said coach Todd Davis, “with the soldiers in this room. Be the meanest on the field. Seniors, lead.”

In the Gym.  “You are expected to be here and to win,” began Lipsey. “Create your own legacy as a team. Two even teams. You gotta go get it. Compete on every play. Let’s excite the crowd. We feed off them. Remember, you are one play from your number being called. There has never been a championship for Union County High School . Remember, the best TEAM wins.”

Before the kickoff. “You have a chance to go undefeated at home,” began Lipsey. “It wasn’t long ago that it was 105 degrees and you were running. Get after their tail. Set the tone. If you want it, go get it. Turn up your game. Don’t worry about mistakes. Go wide open. We are better upfront. Leave nothing on the field. Seniors, this is your last ride. Blow them out. Leave no doubt.

At the half. With the Jackets leading 21-7, several Jackets were shouting, “Zero-zero.” Coach Lipsey began by reminding the team what they were playing for. “You have got to take control of the game,” he continued. “Get the momentum back. You gotta go. No break. Attack. Attack. Attack.”

Quick hitters. Kelvin Booker, Josh Lowery, Marcus Lott and Tyler Adams were co-captains...defensive back Eric Bates suffered a broken ankle on the scout team last week and while out for the season, is expected to make a major contribution next year…Tyler Funderburg made a great 30-yard kickoff return to BHP’s 47 yard-line…Funderberg had ‘UNOCERO 10” cut into the hair on the back of his head…Danny Grady followed suite with “GRADY 4” on his head…quarterback Dwight Brannon made a key block on a run by Marcus Whitener allowing him to make another great run…with Union fourth and one and going for a first down on a planned hard count, the sideline official called a phantom ‘”time out” just after another official whistled the play dead because of encroachment. The “time out” negated the penalty… defensive back Kendrick Brewton had a spectacular game, intercepting two passes, running one back 80 yards before being tackled as time ran out…senior O-lineman Adam Campbell caught the coaches’ eyes for his unselfish work on the scout team last week which coaches believe significantly helped the varsity prepare for BHP…Calvin Rice had his second fumble recovery in two games…coaches were impressed with Tim Duckett’s consistent blocking…coaches have noticed fullback Mark Worthy’s improved blocking and hard work…quarterback Bo Whitney had an electrifying 50-yard touchdown run called back by a holding penalty…Brian Gist had an exciting 40-yard run off an interception… coaches say freshmen Stacy Peake, John Simmons Fallaw and Jordan Sims did an outstanding job on the scout team and have a great future ...Jeremy Porter made key blocks on two of Whitener’s touchdown runs…coaches were pleased with how well Justin Austin played when he came in off the bench in the second half… Lamont Edney left a defensive back tackling air on a 60-yard run which was called back by another holding penalty…Kelvin Booker had a key sack forcing BHP into third and thirteen…seen before the game, Jamison Jones and Sam Hammond kneeling in prayer.

The Journey continues. Clinton II. Be there.

 

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