Jimmy # 86 spent hundreds of hours in the gym from February through June lifting weights, increasing his speed and agility, conditioning all in preparation for this years football season.The one thing he could not train for was not being an upper class-man.
The practises started and the coaches implemented a point system to determine who would be the starters in many of the key positions. Jimmy was bound and determined to be the starting H, or tight-end. He was 12 points ahead of his any other kids in that position and was super excited. He is very aggressive when it comes to football and there was no way he was going to let anyone beat him. So that's when we ran into the first of many problems. He was told because he was only a Sophomore he would not be starting. I give Jimmy credit for saying to his coach " Let me get this straight, even though you had us go through all these tests and goals and even though I won everyone one of them I am not starting because I am a Sophomore?" His position coach said that was the decision the head coach made. To that Jimmy replied then why did you lie to me? I would not have done one thing different in any of these drills even if I new I wasn't going to start" That was how the whole season went.
Jimmy played his heart out in every game, practice and scrimmage. He played only 6 plays of defense the whole year resulting in 3 sacks, 2 rushed passes, and a fumbled recovered for 20 yards, then the coaches decided to not play him on defense any more... it was very frustrating and confusing.
Then the coaches invite him to come to the varsity film session to prepare for the upcoming game which is great. They spend the week practicing Jimmy playing tightened and slot receiver until game day when they tell him they have changed the game plan and he will not be playing and because he didn't go to the JV game he will be benched.... so for the first home game of his varsity career he had to stand on the side lines and watch...he was not happy. Once again he took to his caused and asked the coaches " what should I be doing to get more play time?" They replied go to the JV games.
JV had the best record in the whole Hopkins football program and finished 5 wins 3 losses, prior to this year the JV team had only one 2 games ,where was Jimmy? On defense sacking the QB, plugging up the middle of the line and tacking running backs, in the backfield tacking the fullback for a loss. He was returning kick offs, playing running back, catching passes making first downs and even a 15 yard touchdown run! He had two games where he over 200 all purpose yards.
Back to Varsity where the coaches took notice and spent the entire team working plays with Jimmy at running back, he was once again coerced over to the dark side. He would come home from practice on cloud 9 ...'I'm going to start at full back' and he did, for 2 plays then the coach freaked out and completely changed the game plan 5 minutes into the game and once again Jimmy was shaking his head. This is how the season went.
Finally it was the play-offs, Hopkins was 1-7 going into the play-off season and Jimmy's view was " well Dad all we need is four straight upsets to make it to the championship!" Positive attitude, great kid. Jimmy did play quite a bit in the playoff game and came away with a great outlook, mindset for next season. The final game was in the snow with 30 mph winds and he got a ton of play time. He came home super excited "I've waited my whole life to play in the snow and I LOVE it!! I cant wait until next season!" While he was not happy with the way the season went (mainly because of coaching) is looking forward to next season with enthusiasm. This year was 1-8, next year is in the making.
The Football banquet was like all those types of events 3 hours long with lots of inside jokes and pranks. The high lights, Jimmy received a letter award and an award for maintaining a higher than 3.0 grade point during the season, way to go!
Jimmy also made a highlight film which is below and low and behold the High School scouts found his film and were very impressed, especially with his defense and asked him where the rest of his defense film was, and since the coaches decided to not play him after the first couple of games he replied, I spent the remainder of the season focusing on offense. The good news is they have identified him as an athlete, they think he has a ton of potential, they are impressed with his weight lifting strength and speed and will be watching him.
Hopefully, next year, he'll play positions on both offense and defense. So all in all a pretty decent Sophomore year!
So the day after the banquet where was Jimmy, back in the gym training and getting ready for next season, where else!