Blazer Football, the Journey 11/2/12
With the close of the 2012 Youth Football season just around the corner, we can reflect on the past months and deem this season another successful one for our Gardner-Edgerton Little Blazers. With one more game still ahead for most teams, these boys put together another combined winning record for the season at 28-26-4. Together, they put up over 1,000 points and ran for thousands of yards. 4th Grade Blue holds the highest scoring record for the season with 178 points, and 5th Grade Blue is right behind them with 170. 5th Grade Blue boasts an outstanding undefeated season, and we wish them the best of luck as they play for the league championship at 4:00pm Saturday!
Youth football is, as Shrek would say, "...like an onion." There are many layers. It's not unlike other youth sports, completely, but it does have it's differences. In 2nd and 3rd grade you find lots of little guys out there "bumping" into each other. Occasionally you might witness something that resembles a tackle, but it's tough to "wrap up" when your arms are too short to reach. The only requirement for a successful passing game at this age is for a pass to be attempted. Nothing gets the crowd going like when that ball is released, and everyone holds their breath for what is surely the longest two seconds in all of sports as 21 of the cutest little bobble heads reach and jump and climb and clamor to get to it first. It doesn't really matter if it falls incomplete, does it? No! Because it was darn near heroic just to try!
4th grade is when it seems the game starts to click with a lot of these young players. I was talking with our middle schooler and his friend, and they remember 4th grade as being a sort of pivotal year. That was the year when some kids started realizing this just isn't for them. On the reverse, this is also the year when other kids found that this is exactly the right sport for them. And, throughout the season, that competitive spirit starts to emerge. For a lot of those players, that will just be the beginning, as that competitiveness will increasingly build up in them throughout their careers.
5th and 6th grade is when you can really start to see what kind of player some of these kids are going to be. You can catch a glimpse of the high school player inside of them. They've got the fundamentals, now they're adding their own style to how they run, tackle, pass. They know the plays, now they're working to execute them better. And the coaches are a little different these years as well. There are higher expectations set. They know what their kids are capable of , and they expect nothing less. The voices from the sidelines might seem slightly elevated from years past. The team meeting after a loss might take place in the middle of the field so as to not be overheard by parents (yes, we're onto you). And winning will seem to be more important than ever.
Around here we have a very unique opportunity. Our high school football program is more than a "program." It's more than a four year high school experience. It's a journey that begins in 2nd grade, nurturing these players every step of the way. Each phase of this journey has a purpose. Each step readies the boys for the next step. It readies them for what they are ultimately working toward... a State Championship Title won as a Gardner-Edgerton Blazer Football Player.
During this playoff season, our Little Blazers will be able to see boys who were once like them, playing at the highest level of their careers so far. And they will realize... It's possible.....
Please view the latest Little Blazer News!!
Kelly Johns, Youth Editor