Friday, October 07, 2011

Football Update

The chant " Who, Who, Who, Who, Who are we? HOPKINS, Who are we? HOPKINS, Who are HOPKINS, Blue Crush on 3, One Two Three, GO BLUE CRUSH" is heard rolling over the field and the opponent as Jimmy and the boy's from Hopkins take the field!

This is nothing other than 4TH GRADE FOOTBALL at its best! In the off season Jimmy did some recruiting and thanks to his efforts the team now has 7 black stripes (kids over 90lbs who are not allowed to advance the ball), a new quarterback along with several returning members of the 3rd grade squad making this years team a formidable opponent. The team has been playing well and each game they have learned something new and had nothing short of "a blast!".

This year the league has instituted a new part of the overall football experience and that is to identify and reward good sportsmanship, both individual and team. In a recent game the boy's were playing a team from St. Louis Park and Hopkins was winning the game very handily. The boy's told the other team how well they were playing, pointing out good plays and one of our players, while helping one or the opposing players up off the ground said "you guys are playing really hard". The kids on the side lines were giving encouragement to St. Louis Park to the point where parents from the team pulled our Coach aside and commented " what great sportsmen his team has". That is heart warming to us parents.

The team is now 4-2-1 and I will have to say, even though 3 of our victories were shut outs, the best game we played was the game that ended in a tie. Of course Jimmy is quick to point out that even though we tied Wayzata, we have never beaten them (not in 3rd grade and not this year). Alas, the tie game was a come back from a 14 point deficit to tie the game late in the 3rd quarter and hold Wayzata to no points in the 4th. It also included a late in the 4th stop, a 1st and goal attempt, and... it was awesome. The boy's were beside themselves and congratulated each other on a great game. It was a great performance by the whole team. (keep in mind that Wayzata is KNOWN for football, they have 10, yes 10 4th grade teams. Hopkins has 2).

To sum up the season at this point would be to quote Jimmy "You know Dad 4th grade football is a lot harder than 3rd grade" He is still one of the biggest but not one of the fastest. But he is in every play, he's a great leader with the team - leading push ups, sits ups, and encouraging EVERYONE and he gets his teammates pumped up to the point where a coach of the other 4th grade Hopkins team said "My team is missing that spark, you know we need to have a Jimmy Murphy on our team", makes for proud parents. Jimmy is so passionate, it makes your heart hurt. He's the most excited to play, the most energetic on and off the field and the hardest hit when they lose. In the huddle against their loss to Wayzata 2 weeks ago, he was literally sobbing, snot running out of his nose and everything. This teammates were wonderful, patting him on the back and consoling him (VERY nice since I think about 1/2 the team didnt know they lost and were unclear as to the score). Its hard to be a passionate 10 year old boy.

The games are harder hitting, there are pass plays, and most of the parents spend the entire time pacing the sidelines cheering and worrying at the same time, football you gotta love it! (Tracy is going to have an ulcer by high school, the tension is palpatable!)
The final game is coming up on Saturday, October 15th, and of course it is against none other than.... Wayzata.The boy's are practicing hard and the coaches are working overtime to get the boy's out of their heads and to stop thinking about our no win record agaist Wayzata. We are thinking about having the team over for popcorn and a" Hoziers Movie Marathan" to help drive the point home. Either way we will report the outcome.