I have been wanting to write this for a long time, but its hard to write about because its hard for me to separate my feelings from football in general. For ME personally, as most of you know, football is obviously my life. Its always been that way and honestly, football is more than anything, exactly what brought Josh and I together in the first place. So football plays on SO many angles in my life, that when I sit down to write, its hard for me to stick to one thing before going off on another thing and before I know it, my post is a tangled mess of football! ha
This has been a year that I didn't expect. I can honestly say that if someone last year had told me that we would be 0-7 right now, I would have laughed in their face and bet all my money against that person. (or I would have hit them, depending on my mood that day- I can be feisty when it comes to my teams)
This season has been hard on me. I KNOW its been hard on our players and our coaches, which is why its very hard on me. I HATE watching Josh come home and scratch his head to try and figure out what he is doing wrong. I hate that he takes it so hard, buy then as someone pointed out- "its a good thing he is taking it hard- we'd be worried if he wasn't"... SO true, but its great for THEM to not have to watch it day in and day out, while I am at home try to help him sort out his feelings and thoughts. He likes to talk it out and I basically listen and try to give my two cents every now and then. Last night I was especially proud of myself- as he had a revelation- so did I:) ha
Anyhow, so as I was saying, I never thought that our team would be 0-7. I don't think I over-estimated our team, because make no mistake, We are doing a LOT of things right and for basically having a JV team playing Varsities, (GOOD Varsities), we are doing a hell of a job. But I think maybe I under-estimated the teams that we are playing. I knew CP and LT would be good, but I can honestly say that if someone had said that Vista Ridge would be 6-2, I would have laughed at that. (although, I can say that I am VERY happy for them. I truly am and I am hoping that next year someone will be saying the same about us)
I know we have the potential to be an amazing team and I think next year, the table is going to flip and I think we will be able to compete solidly with CP and LT. I have no doubt about it. And the year after THAT- they better all watch out for us.Currently we have 13 SOPHOMORE starters on our team. Providing no injuries or move-aways- we will have 13 starters for 3 years. (counting this season).
Coaches say that for every Sophomore you have on your Varsity, that you will lose 1 game. (that's NOT a knock, but your talking about a 15 year old playing against a 17/18 year old, well how about thirteen, 15 year olds going against twenty- two 17 or 18 year olds! That's kind of unfair if you think about it!)
This year I think we have done some great things, and we have done a LOT of things right. We are growing and we are getting where we need to be. Our kids are fighters. Those guys fight- every day and we deserve a win.
Do I think we can go out and beat Lake Travis- honestly... maybe.
Let me just tell you about MY Senior year and maybe I will make you a believer too
(Sorry, Coach Aboussie, I know I am bringing up bad memories for you:)
My Senior Year, the 1998 Wichita Falls Rider Raiders.
A little background, my previous 3 years of High School, we were the smallest school in 5a.
(kind of like the Rouse Raiders being one of the smallest in 4a right now)
We had great athletes in those 3 years, several of them went on to play at the college level- with full rides and I have 4 of those kids in the 3 years went on to play in the NFL and Canadian Football Leagues. So we had good athletes, but in those 3 years we won a total of 10 games in those years- and 6 of those games were non-district games.
In realignment of 1998 when I was still a junior, our smallest 5a school, missed the 5a mark by 9 kids. Because of those 9 missing kids, we were able to move down to 4a. This was HUGE for us and very exciting.
We thought we were going to run the table in 4a.
But to our disappointment, we won 2 games all year. Those two games were against the Burkburnett Bulldogs- who were 0-8 that year. The final game was against the Wichita Falls High School Coyotes (who Coach Aboussie was an all district running back for:)
WFHS and Rider, have a LONG history. Sadly, but true, the coach could be in the hot seat and be o-fer all year, but you if you win that game, you are as good as gold that next day and your job is saved. Those school's have an amazing tradition, its awesome as a player and as a fan, but its a coaches nightmare and one that I THOROUGHLY enjoyed as student and even as an alumni, but when i became a coaches wife at "the other school" I HATED IT. I realized just how unhealthy it was.
Anyhow, back to the story- that's a completely different blog!
So, in district, WFHS was (2-3) and Rider was (1-3) going into our game against each other. At that time 3 teams went to the playoffs, so here was the scenario in which it could have played out:
A Coyote Win would have put them automatically into the playoffs
A RIDER Win would have caused a tie, and at the end of the game would cause a coin flip to see who would go into the playoffs.
A third scenario was if Rider beat WFHS by a certain number of points and it also went on penetrations and all this other stuff that I couldn't begin to tell you. (Grandpa, feel free to comment as I am certain you know exactly what it was)
Anyhow, the game was rainy and it was miserable, all I remember is standing there in tears because I knew this was my last game to watch as a Rider Raider student. At halftime we were trailing by 3 points. I just KNEW we could win, and much like I do now, I was worried, but hopeful. I never worry until 4th quarter (then and now), but in your final game of your senior year, I was on pins and needles (I can't imagine how the players felt!)
We had a great passing game and Coyotes secondary couldn't cover us. Plus it was so slippery from all the rain. I think there may have been 9 minutes left in the fourth, but Our QB: Justin Ozuna, threw a pass to Shane Szymanski and we scored making the score 21-10.
Thinking it was all good and I was a bit more relaxed, then out of NOWHERE- the Coyote QB passed off to, I think, Joseph Aboussie who scored on us, then they went for 2, making the score 21-18.
With 2 minutes and maybe 10 seconds left, they missed their on-side kick, and we ran the clock as much as we could. But not enough, and they got the ball back. There was 45 seconds left and they were in field goal range. With luck or the Lord on our side, their 30 yard field goal kicker- who NEVER misses, did in fact miss and the game was ours. I have never been more excited to win a game.
But, luck and the Lord were STILL with us, because our team won the coin toss and we made it to the playoffs. I have never been so excited and I can honestly say that of almost everything that happened my Senior year, winning that coin toss is something I will NEVER forget.
Here is why i think we COULD beat Lake Travis.
The 1998 Rider Raiders were a good team. We had some good kids, but there was a LOT of things going on in that season that were obstacles. Those guys had a LOT to over-come and its amazing to me how that coaching staff was even able to keep the team together. I will write about this sometime, but not now. We had good athletes, but not many that went on to play post high school, so our guys were at best- average. But never the less, we won that coin toss.
Not only did we win the coin toss, but our 2-3 team went on and
beat Weatherford in triple over time in the bi-district championship (43-35). Weatherford was 6-4 going into the game.
We beat Cleborne in the Region I Semifinals (14-7). Cleborne was 8-3 going into the game before we put a stop to their season.
THEN the mother of all mothers.
Our Cinderella team drove to Lubbock to play super defensive tough Plainview in the Region I-Division I Finals.
Plainview was 10-1 going into the game, and we played with them right the entire game.
Plainview beat us 35-28, but we were very much alive until the last minute of the game.
I have NEVER been so incredibly heartbroken in my life.
Is it sad that I remember all of that? Nothing was more exciting to me than that year. Until I became a coaches wife and get to witness this EVERY YEAR. Except now, the kids that i am cheering for, are not my peers or my friends. I am cheering for kids and coaches and I NOW know what all goes into a football game, its not something that happens in the 48 minutes on the field.
Our team can accomplish whatever they put their minds to. All it takes is us believing in each other. Look at my team my senior year. We were 2-8.... 2-8. That is 2 wins and 8 LOSSES.
And we finished at 4-9.
The 1998 Rider Raiders didn't give up and I don't believe our Rouse Raiders will either.
2012 VARSITY Football Schedule (1-0)
Striving to be 1-0 after we play Cedar Ridge on Friday
August 31-- Hendrickson (WIN 50-23)
September 7 @Cedar Ridge
September 14 @ Hays
September 21-- Del Valle
September 28-- Dripping Springs
October 5 @ Leander
October 12-- Marble Falls
October 19 @ Cedar Park
November 2-- Vandegrift
November 9 @ Vista Ridge
Currently 1-0 on the Season