Inside the Swarm: Chapin
By: Paul Davis
Devotion. Team trainer “Doc” Lipsey was introduced as the guest speaker to the applause of the players. “We are starting over tonight,” he began. “Everyone is 0-0. Seniors, at 10 tonight it could be over for you. Being on a play-off ride is fun. At Jonesville in 1990, we had every play-off game at home. You are the Region Champions but you also know how the second and third-place teams feel.
“My pastor had the devotion but he called me at noon today to tell me that he would be unable to come and asked me to do the devotion. So I looked up some on my computer. You know that you may have to come off the bench at anytime tonight and you have to be ready. It’s not where you start that matters, it’s where you finish.
“My scripture reference is I Peter 3:15 which tells believers to be ready to share their faith with others.
“All of us are here to make a difference. Think of the adults, players, and others who have made a difference in your life. The Bible says that God has a plan for each of us. Even before I was born, God knew that I would be here tonight brining the devotion. God has unconditional love for us and will always have our back.
“In Colossians 4:6 Paul admonished his readers to, ‘Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man.’
“Let me read to you something called the Parable of the Pencil Maker. That parable puts us in the place of a pencil to be used to help others. The tough events in life will ‘sharpen’ us which will make us better at helping others. We will make mistakes but have a means of erasing them. And thinking of how a pencil is made, the better part of us is inside and can not be seen. And probably the most important part of this parable is to understand that we have the opportunity to leave a ‘mark’ on someone’s life.”
Defense. Defensive coordinator Chip Bailey started by asking the defense how far they would go in the play-offs. “The home atmosphere is great,” he continued. “The High School Sports Report didn’t even list you as a dark horse possibility in the play-offs. Some of you were asking about stickers for you helmets. At this time of the season, do you need stickers? (“No,” from the team.)
After reviewing the defense’s reaction to each of the formations, Bailey reminded them that they had been playing good defense. “But you have to tackle better, 26 missed tackles last week. Turn it up. I expect your best effort of the season. The quarterback will throw it to us. (He did, twice).”
Offense. On the board: “Block. Be physical. Take care of football. Nothing stupid!”
“Now the ball is on our court,” began offensive coordinator Dave Manes. “We win we play. Seniors, how long do you want to play at home? There are a lot of first round upsets. O-line, you have to do the dirty work every week. Trust the guy next to you. Emotion takes you a few plays and then how you’re prepared takes over.”
Coach Caleb Clark reminded them that their goal was to win, not avoid loosing.
Before kick-off. Coach Bryan Robinson shared with them someone one of his coaches had said: “You practice in the heat so you can play in the cold.”
At the half. Players were shouting “Zero zero” as they gathered behind the end zone. Lipsey reminded them that champions finish the game. “They will adjust,” he continued, “so we have to be ready. Keep your intensity up. They get the ball so the defense has to be ready.
After. “This was a complete team win,” began Lipsey at the 50-yard line after the game. “You won in all phases of the game now we go to work Monday. We will be here this weekend so if you need us, we’ll be in the office.”
Quick Hitters. Before leaving the gym for the stadium, Resource Office Cornell Mauney told the Jackets that he knew them when they were at Excelsior. “I will retire at the end of this school year and I want to go out with a State Champion team,” a remark that elicited a big response from the players…co-captains were Nick Monroe, Travis Black, Neil Washington, and Kyle Trantham… Monroe was decked out in a ski mask prior to the kick-off but he didn’t wear it during the game: “Too hot.”… Jarred Fowler, Marc Hardy, Nate Williford, Amos Miller, Adrian Brown, C. J. Cardin, Brandon Shetley and Brandon Parker have been brought up to the varsity for the play-offs…Nick Monroe had a good night and a great pancake block on a counter play…Brennon Crosby lit up the Jackets with a hard hit on a kick-off… Kyle Trantham’s effort was commented on by coaches… Desmond Floyd had an All Star night: 6 solo tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery…Neil Washington had 6 solo tackles and on TFL… Jordan Sims had five solos…coaches were pleased with the Jacket kick-off coverage…LaBrian Smith’s fumble recovery set up a TD… coaches bragged on Jason Adams O-line effort along with Jarred O’Shields’ effort over the last two games… Michael Johnson picked up kudos for his running…all Jacket backs had at least 50 yards rushing… coaches were please with how Alex Tucker responded after missing a field goal attempt… Tucker kicked a field goal, ran back an interception for a TD and then kicked the extra point followed by a kick-off, three of which went into the end zone… Dierris Beecham had a good kick-off return and recovered a fumble.
The Journey Continues. J. L. Mann. Home. Step Two. Be there
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