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2009 Season and Game Recaps

December 30, 2012
By Sam Knopik of Pembroke Hill High School Football

Pembroke Hill Football

2009 Season Recap

 Finishing 5-5 this years Raider team fought through some adversity to win some tight ball games. Turning point finishes for our boys included a 14-12 victory overClintonand a 21-20 homecoming win overUniversityAcademy. The season ending victory over rival Lincoln Prep was made memorable by the sloppy, muddy field conditions that I’m sure our boys will never forget.


Team Awards


Raider Award: This award is presented to the team member who has demonstrated the greatest commitment, dedication, desire and positive contribution that has earned the respect of both their teammates and coaches. This is the highest honor that our athletic department distributes.

2009 Winner: Adam Young


The Head Coach’s Award: This award is given to any member of the football team in recognition for their selfless participation. It is believed that the strongest members of any organization are those who make the greatest efforts to serve others.

2009 Winner: Allie Kirschner


Brooks Channing Noah Award: This award is presented to the team member who has demonstrated the greatest improvement from the previous season.

2009 Winner: Adam Young


Kevin Emery Award: This award is given to the player who has made the greatest contribution to our football team’s success. Considered a Most Valuable Player trophy this award is reserved for the player who’s overall efforts in training, in practice and on the field stands above others.

2009 Winners: Jacob Gerson


Studebaker Riley Award: Given to the player who’s line play exceeds all others. His determination to persevere, without concern for personal recognition or glory, manifests itself in relentless, selfless, physical exertion. This award is given to Pembroke Hill’s best linemen.

2009 Winner: James Holcomb


Bob Hicks Award: Given to the outstanding student-athlete in recognition of his football excellence, who personifies passion for the game, intensity, leadership, and heart both in the classroom and on the field.

2009 Winner: Andy Miller


Sportsmanship Award: This award is presented to the team member who shows humbleness in victory and graciousness in defeat. He is a fierce competitor who understands the greater objective of the game: to perform in a manner that reflects well on his family, his school and himself.

2009 Winner: John Heddens

Kansas   City 3A All-District Team Winners


  • Sean Fredette, Athlete/Slot 1st Team
  • Jacob Gerson, Defensive Back, 1st Team
  • Marquell Smith, Running Back, 2nd Team
  • David Kipke, Tight End, 2nd Team
  • Mark Baum, Offensive Line, 2nd Team
  • James Holcomb, Offensive Line, 2nd Team
  • Adam Young, Defensive Line, 2nd Team
  • Chas Ellzey, Linebacker, 2nd Team


Missouri Football Coaches Association 3A All-State Team Winners

 Jacob Gerson, Defensive Back, 3rd Team


Missouri Football Coaches Association All-State Academic Team Winners

  •  Mark Baum, Defensive End
  • Paul Black, Defensive Back
  • Jacob Gerson, Defensive Back
  • James Holcomb, Defensive Line
  • Benjamin Ketter, Linebacker
  • David Kipke, Tight End
  • Andy Miller, Offensive Line
  • Zach Schmidt, Defensive Back


Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete Team Winners

  •  Andy Miller, Offensive Line


Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association MO-KAN All-Star Game

  •  Coach David Schroeder, Running Backs


2009 PHS vs Van Horn: Win 47-12

The stage was set for an awesome night of football as the temperature was cool and the sun was bright. Truman High School was the host of its first varsity football game ever! The Independence School District  has always used the stadium located at William Chrisman High for all of  their varsity football contests. However, since the addition of Van  Horn to the school district they now have to use the Truman facility for  the Falcon's home football games. It really is a wonderful opportunity  for the Van Horn community. No longer will they have to travel into Kansas City to play games on foreign turf. Rather they can move right up the street to cheer for their football team.

The  Van Horn faithful will have a lot to cheer about in upcoming seasons.  In just their second year as a new school the football team boasts  nearly 50 players! Not bad for a 2A program. It was obvious to our team  that the 2009 Falcons were ready to play as they held us on a 4th  down conversion on our first series of the game. The opening period  would end in a 0-0 tie and our coaches were digging deep into the bag to  find the right answer to the Van Horn game plan.

From the 4-yard line early in the second quarter junior QB Jacob Gerson fired a high pass to junior TE David Kipke who climbed the ladder and was able to drag his toe in bounds for our first score of the season. Our Kicker, sophomore Nathan Wagner  had a rough start to his football career as his first two PAT attempts  were blocked and he was hit hard. To his credit this gutsy kid, who is  already a two-sport varsity letterman in cross-country and wrestling,  hung tough to plant his third kick right through the uprights.  Unfortunately, he was hit again which ended his kicking for the night.

The  second quarter was an explosive one for the Raiders as we scored 35  total points before the half ended. Our next two scores would also come  from Gerson to Kipke TD passes of 27 and 49 yards. The third was an impressive display of team football. David pulled in the screen pass as teammate, junior Slot Back Luke Butler pasted an initial path clearing block on the closest defender. Then as if shot from a cannon, senior Guard Nick Tinoco, sprinted in front of Kipke to pancake the next pursuing Falcon. Also aiding in the score were hard running players sophomore Slot Back Patrick Freitag from the backside of the formation who sealed off a defender and a hustling junior Center Charlie Doering who threw his TD block 30 yards down field! On his way into the end zone David employed a vicious stiff arm to hold off the only Falcon managing to get close enough for the stop.

Gerson would hook-up with Butler for a 14-yard TD strike and senior John Heddens plunged over the goal line behind stout drive blocks from seniors Adam Young, Nick Tinoco, Andy Miller, and juniors Mark Baum, Charile Doering, David Kipke and Luke Butler. Second half scores would come from runs by junior RBs Sean Fredette and Marquelle Smith.  In total 10 different players carried the ball for 120 yards and 3 TDs  and 5 different players caught passes for 200 yards and 4 TDs. It was a  super opening night for the offensive side of the ball.

Defensively, juniors Sean Fredette CB and Arun Miriyala OLB led the team with 6 tackles each. Miriyala also recorded a sack and forced a fumble which was recovered by senior OLB John Heddens. Heddens also took an intercepted pass back 25 yards thanks to outstanding pass rush by senior D-Linemen Andy Miller and Adam Young, junior Jay Tinsman and freshman ILB Harold Edwards. Harold  took every snap at ILB for the Raider "D" and has the potential to be a  very special player before his career is over. More than his ability,  his work ethic and fearless spirit are the main factors in Harold's  early opportunity to play at the varsity level. In fact, the whole  freshmen class has a unique competitive spirit. So much, in fact, that  the seniors invited them to dress for the game this week. Traditionally,  we do not dress our freshmen for away games. However, in light of their  outstanding practice efforts the seniors wanted to show their  appreciation in this gesture. Good thing too because most of the 9th graders had the opportunity to gain a few snaps before the night was over.

Overall 14 different players garnered defensive statistics, including kicker Nathan Wagner who recovered a Walter Bixby and company forced fumble on a kickoff coverage.

The 2009 Pembroke Hill Raiders are off to a strong start and look forward to seeing you  all next Friday as we host the tough Hogan Prep Rams. The game will  serve as the PHS All-School BBQ and we hope you can be a part of the  festivities. The Rams are coming off a very impressive Week 1 victory of  their own. Last season they defeated us in a hard fought 7-8 ball game  on their way to an undefeated regular season and an 11-1 record.


2009 vs. Hogan: Loss 14-39

While  it rained all afternoon the PHS BBQ Game would see nothing but sunshine  as the weather cleared in time for kickoff. Senior Captain Adam Young reminded me during warm-ups that "the sun always shines on Pembroke Hill!"

Adam  forgot to remind the Rams about that freaky fact of nature as Hogan  Prep got off to a fast start returning our first quarter punt back for a  TD. However an outstanding Jacob Gerson and company  effort to block the ensuing PAT attempt kept the early lead to 6 points.  I have always maintained that we can gauge the morale of the team by  their efforts following an opposing score. The PAT block could be an  easy play to take off and just lean on the opposing player and feel  sorry for yourself. When you see block teams come off the ball and make  sincere efforts to deny the try it gives a team hope and demonstrates  spirit. Our block team would go on to deny 3 more extra point/two-point  conversion attempts the rest of the evening. In fact, a Hogan kick that  did go through the uprights was actually assisted by another Gerson block attempt as it was deflected upwards enough to cross through goalposts.

The  offensive squad got us going in the second quarter as they moved the  ball the distance of the field behind great run blocks of James Holcomb, Andy Miller, Nick Tinoco, Mark Baum, David Kipke, Luke Butler, and Young.  It was impressive to see a red mass of humanity move the pile forward  down after down. The final 1 yard plunge over the goal by John Heddens was followed by a successful 2-point conversion attempt by Gerson closing the gap to 12-8 Hogan.
The first half ended with an impressive defensive stop by our boys. Setting-up shop with 1st and goal, the Rams turned the ball over on downs 20 yards behind where they started. Impressive defensive plays were made by James Holcomb and  Arun Miryala.

Sophomore, Patrick Freitag, Junior Chaz Ellzey, and Senior John Heddens led all defenders with 10 tackles each. Ellzey, Heddens, Gerson, Miryala and Andy Miller all contributed to sacks or tackles for loss. Charlie Doering also recovered a mishandled Ram handoff to give us a boost in the 1st half. Charlie  has done an outstanding job this season. His aggressive defensive play  has forced the staff into moving around the field in order to take  advantage of his talents. Offensively, he has proven to be a reliable  anchor to the center of our line play.

Other offensive highlights include a 10-yard TD strike from Gerson to Junior David Kipke. Sean Fredette would lead all rushers averaging 10 yards per carry!  Sophomore Matt Murray, Juniors Paul Black, Marquelle Smith, and Zach Schmidt also hauled in passes on the night.
Sophomore Nathan Wagner  returned for some impressive kickoffs and punts. He booted his longest  over 40 yards. Not bad for a kid who has been playing this game all of 4  weeks!

The  Raiders came up on the short end of the scoreboard but our staff was  impressed with our team's fight and toughness. It has not gone unnoticed  and I have appreciated the comments from others at the game who also  made note our players' spitfire, never lay down attitude.
We host a very strong Smithville Warrior team Friday night. I hope to see you at the game and sing with you after.


2009 vs Smithville: Loss 6-27

Smithville  came to town and took care of business in the second half of our week 3  match-up. Entering the half down 14-6 the Raiders struggled to slow  down the Warriors of Smithville who put up two more second half scores  winning the game 27-6.

Offensive highlights of the game included a strong TD run by Marquelle Smith in the second quarter and 6 receptions for 68 yards by David Kipke. John Heddens led all rushers with 47 yards and also had 3 pass receptions Luke Butler, Paul Black and freshman Dylan Sen all caught Jacob Gerson pass attempts.

Jacob Gerson and Zach Schmidt led all defenders with 11 and 9 tackles respectively. Nick Tinoco pulled in a timely interception as well in the second half.

While  it was a disappointing finish we were able to find several areas of  improvement for our ball team. Most significantly I was impressed with  how our players responded to the theme of "Respecting Work" after the  Smithville game.

They  were given several passages concerning the theme of "respecting work"  and then asked to reflect on what those passages said to them. Examples  included:

"Everyman  is to be respected as an absolute end in himself, and it is a crime  against the dignity that belongs to him as a human being, to use him as a  mere means for some external purpose." -Immanuel Kant

"Hard  work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves,  some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all." - Sam Ewig

"Don't  say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of  hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pateur, Michelangelo,  Mother Teresa, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein." -H. Jackson Brown

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?" -Martin Luther King

2009 vs KC East: Win 28-8

Prior to our Week 4 game versus East I shared with the team some of the reflections of their teammates.
"My dad taught me to treat people with respect..."
"My family brought me up to work hard...."
"The ones who never give up despite the circumstances is always victorious..."
"What's in your heart is more important to what's in your wallet..."
"I've said to myself the I don't have time. I'm a liar. I'm going to get better about doing what I need to do..."
"Some  people are so broken down that they can't help others. My job is to  help them. Maybe then they can help others. Wouldn't that be great?"

Isn't  it wonderful to know that our players are surrounded by peers who are  so plugged in to what is important? Above all things I think out team  improved from week 2 through 3 and into week 4 by taking the time to be  reflective about respecting work and the role others who work play in  their lives. We ended this discussion by reminding us all that talk is  cheep and actions are required to truly make a difference.

As  we came out of the locker room at the half against KC East the team  knew they had their work cut out for them. Despite dominating the first  half of play in terms of yards gained, time of possession and earned  first downs, East had tied the game in the last 25 seconds with long  bombs and a two-point conversion.

The offensive line, led by captains Andy Miller, Adam Young and James Holcomb, took over the 3rd quarter with strong devastating blocks leading the way for 220 rushing yards. Jacob Gerson led all ball carriers with 84 yards including a 34 yard TD run. Marquelle Smith added another rushing score and John Heddens ran for two.

Seven players caught Gerson passes. Luke Butler, Paul Black, David Kipke, Marquelle Smith, John Heddens, Patrick Freitag, and Dylan Sen all contributed to 126 passing yards.
Gerson, Zach Schmidt and Chas Ellzey led all defenders with 9 tackles each. Arun Miriyala hauled in and errant East pass and Charlie Doering provided a late big time play when he forced and recovered a Bear fumble deep in our own territory.

It  was a fun night which saw our team adjust to adversity and raise their  level of play as the game continued. We hope to continue our success  this weekend versus a tough Clinton Cardinals team. Thank you for  supporting our players.


 2009 vs Clinton: Win 14-12

We  had a gorgeous night for the 2009 Clinton Homecoming game. The floats  were on display on the track during our warm-ups and we were all  impressed with the entries. My personal favorite was the one which  showed a 7-foot cardinal kicking a Pembroke Hill helmet through the  goal-posts.

The Raiders took the opening series 70 yards for our first score on a 1-yard John Heddens TD plunge. (John seems to be doing a lot of plunging this year, I may need to come up with a new action verb for next week.) John would go on to lead all ball carriers with 59 yards on 10 carries.
Following the successful P.A.T. by Nathan Wagner, Clinton wasted no time in marching down the field for their first score in about 5 plays! Arun Miryala snuffed out their P.A.T. attempt and we held a 1-point lead after all the 1st quarter smoke cleared.

Our second score would come after big play yardage gainers by Marquelle Smith and Andrew Seligson. Marquelle took a pitch 15 yards to move us into Cardinal territory and then Jacob Gerson hit Seligson on a slant route which Andrew took 41 yards and allowed us t set up shop on the 5 yard line. Miryala would scamper in for the score on the next play and Wagner booted another one through the goal posts.

Wagner's  second kick was right on the money. In fact, watching the kick from our  brand new end-zone camera reminded me of the 1990 Gulf War of the  missile that goes right down the factory chimney. You can see the ball  coming right at the camera.... Violent shaking.... All black... Good stuff.

The  offense would go on to have a very successful night controlling the  clock and gaining first downs however, that would be the end of our  scoring. David Kipke, Luke Butler and Seligson, and Marquelle Smith all contributed to Gerson's 100 yard passing night. James Holcomb, Mark Baum, Charlie Doering, Andy Miller and Adam Young  would plow the way for 160 ground yards and 2 TD's on the night.  However, it would have to be the defense to hang on and pull through the  victory as we nursed an 8 point lead.

The  end of the first half saw some terrific defensive team play. With the  clock winding down the Raider defense held the Cardinals as they were  knocking on the door on the 1-yard-line as time expired. Charlie Doering will forever be remembered for his thundering tackle of Clinton's ball carrier to end the half, lead intact.

Paul Black, Patrick Frietag, Andrew Seligson, Zach Schmidt and Jacob Gerson all played stellar pass defense holding the Cardinals to just 40 passing yards. Black also pulled in a critical interception to end an advancing Cardinal drive deep in our territory.

Clinton took possession of the ball on the 50-yard line on the first play of the 4th quarter. They would take 6 minutes to score and were then foiled on the 2-point conversion by a hard charging Jacob Gerson  who undercut the ball carrier in the backfield. The Raiders then  marched the field with the remaining clock and took a victory knee on  the 1 yard line to end the game.
We play F.L. Schlagle High at Washington this Thursday at 7:00pm. Thank you for supporting our players and I hope to sing with you after the game.

 2009 Schlagle: Loss 22-29

The  past three seasons have seen nothing but exciting football games when  the Raiders and the Stallions hook-it-up. There have been games decided  with goalline stands, last second turnovers, onside kicks, and  hook-and-laterals. This year's contest was no different. We talked to  our team all week about being prepared to play four quarters, with a  very good chance the game will come down to the very last play....

Schlagle  got things started with a play-action pass from 25 yards out however a  strong Raider drive on the following possession ended with an Arun Miryala 1 yard TD run. The Raiders would take the lead later in the 2nd quarter with a Jacob Gerson  43-yard TD run. However, in Schlagle-Pembroke Hill style the Stallions  managed to score right before the half once again potentially tying the  game before the break. But the Raider block team denied the kick with an  impressive push up the gut and the half ended with a 14-13 PHS lead.

The  second half was dominated by Schlagle's QB who ran for a total of 147  yards on the night. He would score on TD runs of 22, 4 and 2 yards  extending the Schlagle lead to 27-14 with 2:00 remaining in the game. Jacob Gerson and company executed a spectacular 2 minute drill. Luke Butler, David Kipke and Patrick Frietag all hauled in timely receptions on the drive which climaxed with a Gerson to Kipke TD pass. Following another pass completion by Kipke for the 2pt conversion we found ourselves down by 7 with :30 remaining. No problem, same situation, different year.

The  Stallion return team was ready for an obvious onside kick attempt but  we have executed this play so many times the past 5 seasons I was  thinking more about our next offensive play call. In a super effort the  Schlagle player smothered the ball and the game ended.
It  was another outstanding football game with Schlagle however we found  ourselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard for the first time in 4  years. Our boys played some very physical football and proved to me that  they have come a long way this season as football players. Our  offensive linemen including James Holcomb, Andy Miller, Charlie Doering, Adam Young, and Mark Baum led the way for over 200 yards of rushing on the night. Gerson led all ball carriers with 131 gound yards, while John Heddens, Marquelle Smith, Sean Freddette, Arun Miryala, and Chaz Ellzey also carried the mail.

Defensively, Nick Tinoco led all tacklers with 16! Nick has done a fantastic job for us this season and is really becoming a very solid linebacker. Chaz Ellzey made a tremendous hit in the 2nd quarter to force a timely fumble which was recovered by Paul Black. Overall 17 players garnered defensive statistics including underclassmen Michael Burcham, Mason Everett, and Matt Murray.

As disappointing as the loss was the team is refocused and really preparing for another tough match-up this week with University Academy.  Last season we nursed a 14-0 deficit at halftime to come back and win  15-14. We know that is not sitting well with the Gryphon Nation and  based on the reception our coaching staff received from their parent  section as we scouted them this weekend, they are very dialed-in for  revenge.

We hope you can make it out for the Homecoming  festivities this weekend. It looks like we might be the featured game  for Fox 4 News which will be exciting. I also heard a rumor that Mr. Steve Dekker  will be bringing a pep-band for the game. It should be a great night  for a great game and I hope we can sing together afterwards.


 2009 vs. University Academy: Win 21-20

Holy cow! There are good games and then there are GOOD games. This  one goes down in Pembroke Hill football history as a GREAT game. I think  the energy level for the 2009 homecoming game was jacked-up a few  notches when the parents discovered that we were a contestant for the Fox4.com Game of the Week.  The online poll quickly climbed out of reach and we prepared for the  onrush of media attention almost as heavy as Super Bowl Sunday!
When the cameras arrived early Friday afternoon they began interviewing anyone they could get their hands on. I think 8th grader Shea Radel  was asked to predict the match-up somewhere between the weather  forecast and drive time traffic report. Amid the entire media circus  which was descending upon All-Sport Stadium, the teams began warming up  on what would be a very cold night.

University Academy showcased a Wyoming University  bound quarterback, Darren White. It should be noted that whenever a  single player can influence an opponent's game plan he is noteworthy.  Make no mistake about it, the Pembroke Hill defensive game plan focused  one thing: slow down Darren White...

So much for coaching. Mr. White ran his way through the Raider defense to give the Gryiffins a 20-0 lead midway through the 2nd  quarter. However after establishing our power game it was if the entire  energy on the field shifted. The Raiders, led by effective audible  calls by QB Jacob Gerson, pounded the ball down the field for our  first score of the night. It didn't matter if we ran to the right,  left, or up the gut, David Kipke, Luke Butler, James Holcomb, Mark Baum, Andy Miller, Adam Young, Charlie Doering and yes, even Jacob Gerson (our QBs have to block people), opened up massive holes for our ball carriers. Sean Fredette, who scored on runs of 48 and 1 yards, Marquelle Smith, Arun Miryala did their best to take the ball through those large holes the rest of the night.

Following  our first score and 2-point conversion, (I figured if this was going to  be a shoot out we needed to get as many points as possible), University Academy's White threw an interception to Patrick Freitag.  The Raiders then managed the clock effectively to march down the field  for our second score of the night right before the half.

In the second half we marched it down the field again ending with Chaz Ellzey scoring on a 1 yard wedge play followed by a Nathan Wagner  PAT which gave us the margin of victory. Unfortunately, UA's talented  QB never played a snap in the second half, presumably going home ill at  halftime. While UA lost a tough game without their sparkplug they are  poised to make an effective run through their district competition and  the playoffs. The UA-Pembroke Hill match-up has turned into to healthy  rivalry. Class of '09 graduate and former player Dexter Pearson called me later that night, "15-14 last year, 21-20 this year. Could this be the making of a new rivalry?" Yes Dexter, yes.

Following the game we took part in one of my favorite traditions here, family picture night. Thanks to Mr. Mike McRobert  who set up shop on the 50-yard line under the lights as all of our  football families lined-up to get their pictures taken. We use these  pictures for our end of the year slideshow and they are always great. If  you would like to see Mike's pictures of the game, and families:  www.McRobert.LifePics.com,  Event Code  =  football. Look for the folder labeled PHS Football 2009,  after you open that folder you'll find a folder labeled "PHS vs University Academy" and  "PHS 2009 Football Family" which is where the pictures are located. The Fox4.com highlights can be seen at: http://www.fox4kc.com/videobeta/watch/?watch=199c0657-9611-4cf8-a829-05858c805e05&src=front

On  the subject of rivalries we begin district play tomorrow night against  St. Pius X. We understand that any chance to reach post-season play  always hinges on the SPX game. We have had a great week of practice and  are looking forward to a great game in Northtown tomorrow night. I hope  you can make it for the 7:00pm kickoff and we hope to sing with you  after the game.


2009 vs. SPX: Loss 6-20

Finding yourself on the winning side of the first week of district  play is huge. Unfortunately, we now have an uphill climb if we hope to  return to the state playoffs after a disappointing 20-6 loss to St. Pius  X.

Our boys had sparks of inspired play as we held the St. Pius offense in critical moments, such as the Patrick Freitag forced fumble on our own 2-yard line to keep the Warriors out of the end zone at the end of the 1st half. Mark Baum made some vicious blocks that may have been heard all the way in Gladstone. Marquelle Smith turned on some impressive bursts of speed behind the blocks of Adam Young and company.

David Kipke, Dylen Sen, Sean Fredette and Luke Butler all hauled in Jacob Gerson passes. Jacob would provide our only score of the game in the 2nd quarter with a 30-yard run up the middle. His TD would even the game at 6-6. Linebacker, Nick Tinoco  led all defenders with 9-tackles, however, the Pius running game would  prove too formidable over the stretch as they would add two more scores  before it was over.

Heading into the SPX week I discussed the  impact that inspirational messages could make in a young person's goal  setting and vision. I shared with the team a quote I have on my desk,  now taped to an old paper weight. I found this quote when I was a 10th  grader as I was piddling around in the library, similar to what many of  our students do when they should be studying in the library.

"If  a boy has the wish to excel he takes on a contract which involves  patience, self-control, persistence, and hard work. No boy or man ever  made himself a leader in sports, or in life, without doing a great deal  of hard work which at times seemed to be drudgery. No one comes to the  top without making certain sacrifices. It is not an easy road, but it is  an eminently satisfactory road, because it leads to the desired end." -Walter Camp

I  took that scrap and placed it on my wall. I read it every day. I took  it with me to college and read it everyday. I see it on my desk and I  read it everyday.

I reminded our players that motivational  messages do not need to be athletically themed. I find the passages that  speak to my heart are ones rooted in faith or a concern for others. The  power behind these words of wisdom lies in one's ability to put them to  work in their own lives not the words or the works of the author.

By  Friday they were to have sent me a copy of a motivational message they  use or would find and consider. I have included a smattering of those  below. Next week I'll share with you all what we are using these  messages for in the future.

Illness has hit our team hard this  week. We have missed as many as 20+ players from practice this week with  varying degrees of severity. Untimely as it is, we face a very strong 4th  Ranked O'Hara team tomorrow night. I hope you can make it to the 7pm  kickoff... and you know we are looking forward to singing with you after  the game.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are  inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It  is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves,  "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" Actually, who  are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not  serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that  other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine,  as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is  within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let  our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do  the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence  automatically liberates others." -Marianne Williamson

"Nothing in this world that's worth having comes easy"
"Our  deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we  are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that  most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is  nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel  insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not  just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights  shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As  we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates  others." -Nelson Mandela

"Rely on your own strength  of body and soul. Take for your star self-reliance, faith, honesty and  industry. Don't take too much advice - keep at the helm and steer your  own ship, and remember that the great art of commanding is to take a  fair share of the work. Fire above the mark you intend to hit. Energy,  invincible determination with the right motive, are the levers that move  the world." --Noah Porter

A Cherokee child and his  grandfather were walking through the woods, when the grandfather began  to tell his grandson a story about a great battle that is continually  taking place within each of us. He began "This raging battle is between  two wolves that live inside our bodies and souls. One of these wolves is  Evil. It spills over with anger, jealousy, envy, sorrow, greed, regret,  arrogance, guilt, self pity, resentment, lies, inferiority, false  pride, eco and superiority. The other wolf is good. It is embodied with  joy, love, peace, hope, humility, serenity, kindness, empathy,  benevolence, forgiveness, truth, generosity , faith and compassion."  They walked a small while longer until the grandson turned to his  grandfather and asked "Which wolf wins?" His Grandfather replied 'The  one you feed.'

"Let thy words be few." -- Ecclesiastes 5:2

"The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes."-Benjamin Disraeli

"Champions  do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours,  weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious  performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship  character." - T. Alan Armstrong

"Twenty years from  now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than  by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the  safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.  Discover." -Mark Twain

"I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not done." --Lucille Ball

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Elliot

"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out." --Robert Collier

"If you don't invest very much, then defeat doesn't hurt very much and winning is not very exciting." -- Dick Vermeil

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."  -Helen Keller

"When your legs get tired, let your heart does the rest." --Terrance Howard

"A  man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and  done his best; but what he has said or done otherwise shall give him no  peace." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The only one who can tell you 'you can't ' is you. And you don't have to listen."
"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination." - Tommy Lasorda

"The  power of one is above all things The power to believe in yourself Often  well beyond any latent ability previously demonstrated. The mind is the  athlete, The body is simply the means it uses." -- Bryce Courtenay

"The future belongs to those who prepare for it today" -Malcolm X

"Men  often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot  do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I  can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the  beginning." -Mahatma Gandhi

"The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions." - Confucius

"It is not the hours we put in on the job, it is what we put into the hours that counts." --Sidney Madwed

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." -Jimi Hendrix

"When I express my love for football instead of my unexplainable duty to play the sport, then I will become a football player."
"Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging." - Joseph Campbell

"Boards don't hit back" - Bruce Lee

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned." --Luke 6:37

"The hero is no braver than the ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"It is no use saying, "We are doing our best." You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary." -Sir Winston Churchill


2009 vs O'Hara: Loss 13-35

I don't know if I have ever been as satisfied as a coach. That seems  like an incredible statement considering we lost by 22 points! What we  desire as coaches is to see our players rise to a challenge, be  competitive, and play with pride. If you were in attendance Friday night  you saw an amazing performance by our boys.

Week 9 would be the  week of the flu bug at Pembroke Hill. Our team was missing as many as  22-players on Monday and by Tuesday afternoon, optimistic student rumors  were flying around the school that we were going to have to shut the  doors due to "outbreak!" The rest of our practice week was much of the  same in terms of sick players. By Thursday many of our sick kids were  back but the ones who started the week strong looked like they were  fading fast. By game time the coaches really had no idea who might be  able to suit-up let alone line-up across from the toughest team on our  schedule. It was hard to believe that our game with the 4th ranked O'Hara Celtics would be 14-7 in the 4th quarter... But I was there, I saw it.

While  we struggled to put points on the board with an offense that had as  many as four players making their first varsity appearance or playing  out of position, we managed to hold onto the ball for the first  6-minutes of the game. Here is where I began to worry. In the three game  films we had on the Celtics they had scored on the first play of the  game. I began joking with the sideline official that he better get ready  to run as they had a penchant for opening play scores. The official  replied to me that there was yet another game he had called earlier in  the season where O'Hara had put points on the board on the first snap. Oh, boy.

I  guess we forgot to tell Mark Baum that fact because he absolutely  unloaded on the unsuspecting Celtic fullback on the first snap. 2nd down did not fare much better for them before they decided to try out their passing game on a young sophomore, Josh Smith. Josh  made his first varsity start and despite pretty good coverage gave up a  7-yard slant route. It would be the last pass completion on his watch  the rest of the night. (Coach Griffiths is very excited about his new project at cornerback.)

O'Hara would punt the ball back to us three more times in the 1st half. The half would end 8-0 after the Celtics managed to move the ball on a short field to score with :30 left to play.
Offensively, Marquelle Smith led all ball carriers with 101 yards rushing. John Heddens, Dylan Sen, Jacob Gerson, Arun Miryala and Patrick Freitag would carry the ball for a total of 210 rushing yards. Joining veteran linemen James Holcomb, Adam Young, Andy Miller, Charlie Doering and Mark Baum were Walter Bixby and Harold Edwards.  These seven players successfully controlled much of the game up front  as we tried to shorten the game by controlling the clock.

We knew  that O'Hara would be rip roaring coming out of the locker room and we  had to kick the ball off to them. After earning two first downs it was  looking like we were wearing down. However, after forcing the  outstanding O'Hara QB out of the pocket his scramble attempt was brought  to a halt on the Raider's sideline by a crushing Charlie Doering tackle that ended with Baum recovering the fumbled ball... Begin Pandemonium

Defensively, Nick Tinoco would also recover a Celtic fumble. Jacob Gerson would lead all tacklers with 9, most by bringing down the dangerous O'Hara QB. Josh Smith and Zach Schmidt  saw a lot of action at the cornerback position. It would make sense  that an offensive coordinator would try to pass the ball deep against  defenders smaller than their receivers. However those two would not give  up any deep passes despite filling in at new positions. Zach usually a starting OLB did a super job playing through pain all night.

While  again we would not manage a scoring drive of our own we stymied another  O'Hara possession. Every minute they did not add points to the board  was a minute we could strike back with one-big play. As the 4th quarter began O'Hara indeed had a two-possession lead 14-0. On a 4th and 8 from the 18 yard line Jacob Gerson rolled right and found freshman Dylan Sen with a 10-yard strike. Sen took the ball made two players miss and dove into the end-zone for our first score... Holding.  Now it was 4th and 21! So, we rolled Gerson left where he found a backside Patrick Freitag in the endzone for a big-time score. Nate Wagner  would bang the ensuing P.A.T. kick off the left upright but through the  posts to bring us back within 7-points with little more than 9:00 left  to play.

And now we have reached the point in the story where the  carriage turns back into a pumpkin. O'Hara would end the night with 180  total rushing yards. 135 would come on three scoring plays in the last  minutes of the game. It was an impressive flurry of scoring that many  were expecting to see in the 1st quarter. When the smoke cleared we took possession of the ball on our own 8-yard line with about 3-mintues left to play. Gerson  led an impressive no-huddle drive which mixed spread and tight  offensive attacks. Following the use of our last time-out with just :03  left in the game Gerson rolled right towards Sen waiting for another shot at box score immortality. However, thanks to a devastating John Heddens pancake block on the perimeter Dylan will have to wait another week for that touchdown. Gerson  tucked the ball, and left his feet somewhere between the 3- and 4-yard  line somersaulting into the endzone for our second score of the night.

As  the clock wound down with our 2009 playoff hopes dashed I could not  help but feel as proud as one could be for a group of players. Whatever  role you have been called to in life, I hope you have the opportunity to  see your efforts to prepare and mold something special come to pass. My  moment was last Friday.

We end the season tonight against Lincoln College Preparatory Academy.  This has been a fun rivalry the past 5-seasons with LCPA leading the  recent series 3-2. I can guarantee an exciting competitive night of  football and I hope to sing with you after the game. Thank you for  supporting our players in your classes; their effort to be successful in  and out of the classroom is really what makes our school so special.


2009 vs. Lincoln Prep: Win 20-8

We won our last game of the season in the most awesomest mud game I have ever been a part of... Good Times.

Tags Pembroke Hill High School Football • Publisher
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