Inside the Swarm: Chapman

By: Paul Davis

Pre-game devotion. After challenging the Jackets to stay focused and concentrate on what they had to do later, Coach Lipsey introduced special teams and wide receivers coach, Caleb Clark.

“I’ve always been interested in warriors,” began Clark, “and have read a lot of interesting stories about them. What are their characteristics? What does a warrior do? You may have heard of Achilles and Hercules. Sometimes two enemy armies would face each other but instead of fighting each other, they would send their very best warrior to fight the other warrior and that would decide which army won.”

Clark then showed a video of two such warriors facing off against each other. One warrior threw two spears at the other, both missing. Then that warrior then charged his attacker and, in a great athletic move, leaped high above the warrior fatally stabbing him in the back of his shoulder.

“He had one goal,” continued Clark. “He was focused even after blocking and avoiding his opponent’s spear attacks. He was focused on victory.

“In this clip, a king called Leonitus was outnumbered 250 to 1. His opposing king sent him a message which included the heads of other kings whom they had killed expecting Leonitus to surrender. He was not intimidated, was fearless, and defeated the other king.

“In the Bible Moses killed thousands, so did Samson, and David who got his start fighting Goliath. In Deuteronomy 28:7, Psalms 112:7, and Isaiah 41:13 we learn that what made these men fearless in the face of their enemies was that God had promised them that He was with them and that they had already won.

“If you are one of God’s children, you have also already won in life, in football, and in the classroom. God wants warriors for Him. He has your back. As a Christian you can live life with no regrets, no reservation because God has your back. Football is a great metaphor about life. There is only one way to play football and that’s focused and wide open. God has your back.

“In football, you have to be focused and fearless and that’s my challenge to you.”

Before: With the rain starting to fall, the team met in the locker room at Chapman. “Go all out from the start,” said Coach David Lipsey. “Take control early. They not have worked as hard as you have. Be more physical. Be ready for anything like a trick play. The game starts up front with the line. They will test you. This is the third championship game we play on Friday.”

Offensive coordinator Dave Maness then challenged the skill players to make things happen. Bryan Robinson, offensive line coach, was prophetic when he warned them to take care of the football.

At the half. “The sun is not coming out anytime soon,” began Lipsey. “Other teams aren’t playing under these conditions but Chapman has the same conditions you have. I want to think we are tough enough to win this game. Seniors, you will always remember this game. Don’t forget the prize you are playing for.”

Quick hitters. There were 19 fumbles total in the game, 11 in the first half, not counting other turnovers…William Jeter had a key pass block… prior to the start of the game, Cameron Willis, current USC-Upstate student and former UHS quarterback, told me that what he got out  of four years of Union football was the positive impact it had on his character development… student trainer Mallorie Quinn helps Doc Lipsey with reports, data, treatment and rehab while Madasyn Jett  works with the JVs and keeps other trainers informed about injuries… Neil Washington and John Simmons Fallaw shared their faith at a special Fellowship of Christian Athletes banquet last week…there were three turnovers on the first five plays in the game, a sign of things to come… the Jackets overwhelmingly won the statistical battle shutting down the Chapman offense except for two plays… in spite of the weather the sideline support was good… Neil Washington had 10 solo tackles and two tackles for loss… Desmond Floyd made the sack for a two-point safety along with at least two more TFL…many of the Jackets took the loss very hard as they slogged their way to the buses… as one of the coaches said after the game and the other region game scores became known, “We have our destiny in our own hands.”… maybe that’s the way it should be.

            The Journey continues: Clinton. Home. It will be a battle.


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