Football: Monday Morning Quarterback - Graham
August 26, 2012By Kevin McCloskey of Western Alamance High School
Close your eyes.... Now click you heels together 3 times and repeat after me...
"There's no place like home!
There's no place like home!
There's no place like home!"
Well... It sure didn't look like Kansas on Friday night. But nevertheless, like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, I sure was glad to be home again. Back in the familiar territory of A.M. Primm Stadium @ Dave Morton Field.
What a beautiful night for football! Dare I say it??? It was actually a little Fall'ish on Friday evening. The temperature was just about perfect and the skies were clear. All that was missing was multi-colored leaves on the tress or I would have sworn that it was October and not the middle of August.
One of the first things I did on Friday evening was make my way up to the press box and say hello to Marc Buckner. You all know Marc. Even if you don't know Marc, trust me... YOU KNOW MARC! At least... You know Marc's voice.
Marc is the official "Voice Of The Warriors." The man behind the microphone. He's been doing the PA announcing for WA football (and other sports over the years) for as long as I can remember. And he's great at it!
So people... The next time you hear "The Voice" coming through the stadium speakers, think about Marc and the many, many, many hours he devotes to WA and the football program specifically. And if you ever meet him, make sure you tell him "Thanks for all you do."
Football Fridays at the Reservation certainly wouldn't be the same with Marc Buckner!
"Warrior fans... Are you ready???"
There's an old Motown/Beach Music song by "The Fantastics" that goes....
For your listening pleasure, here's a link to the video: Link
What stuck in my mind from this song was the "Something new" and "Something blue" parts. There was something new & blue at WA on Friday night. I've heard it talked about for a few years and its finally a reality....
The new player entrance tunnel complete with a smoke machine!!!!!
THAT'S PRETTY COOL STUFF RIGHT THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So a tip-of-the-hat and a great big THANK YOU to whomever made it happen!
There were 2 predominant themes to Friday night's contest vs. the Red Devils.
The first was this:
The second was this:
Seriously... What in the world was going on with the referees??? I was afraid to leave the sideline to go to the bathroom for fear they would throw a flag on me! Some of those calls were just.... for lack of a better word... BIZARRE! Lots of head scratching for sure. And some anxiety to boot!
After one particularly strange call (the "inadvertent" whistle on the Graham fumble that resulted in a non-fumble), I thought some folks on the sideline were going to blow a gasket! Coach McKinney reminded me of Fred Sanford. I thought the poor guy was going to have a heart attack!
"It's the big one Elizabeth! I'm comin' to join you honey!"
For a 70's flashback to good ol' Sanford & Son (and a sneak peak into how Coach McKinney looked on Friday night), click this link: HERE
Aside from the penalties, the game itself went pretty much as expected. The appropriate word for the Warriors in the first half was "Flat."
And that applies to ALL Warriors (those on the field and those in the stands). There was a large crowd but the overall atmosphere was a little flat. Several folks commented on it so it wasn't just my imagination.
But... It happens. But (again).... We can't have it happen again this Friday vs. Cummings.
EVERYONE (players & fans) needs to come out jacked for the Cavaliers! Be loud and be proud!
Due to the conference re-alignment, this is the last time we will play Cummings for (potentially) a very long time. So 'Bragging Rights' will last a long time. We need to win those bragging rights!
Co-Players of The Game
(as selected by our esteemed committee consisting of.... ME)
So this day, the 26th day of August, in the year of our Lord 2012, I hearby proclaim that Jacob Webster shall henceforth be called...
ALL ABOARD! Woot! Woot!
Some other thoughts....
Donovan Apple gets a shout-out. The sophomore RB also scored a TD on the ground for the Warriors and boy was he excited!
Blake Deatherage was in on a lot of plays. Standing 6'3", I'm not sure we can call him Brock's "little" brother any more. But the younger Deatherage is looking to also make a name for himself on the Warriors defense. If Blake continues to improve, we can begin calling the Deatherage brothers.... Double Death! That would be a cool nickname! But you've got to earn it Blake so keep working hard!
Sam "Ghost Crab" Foster and TJ "The Man-imal" (as in half man; half animal) Harris continue to wreak havoc for the Warrior defense. If not for the couple of big plays hit by the Red Devils, the defense would have come close to shutting out Graham. But all-in-all, a very solid performance by the Warrior defense.
Brock Deatherage - Brock could have hung his head after a an untimely fumble that cost the Warriors a fantastic scoring opportunity. But hang his head; he did not! Brock responded with 2 big receptions; the second of which was the juniors first TD playing the WR position! As was written the the Burlington Times-News.... It helps to have a short memory. Here's Brock's take on the situation:
“I hung my head down a little bit, apologized to Nigel, said, ‘Look, I got you, I got you,’ ” Deathrage said. “Come back the next series, (I) told him I was going to be open.”
"Its the little things..."
How many times have you heard this phrase???
It truly is the little things in life that make a big difference and football is no exception. One of the football-related "little" things that I think is extremely valuable (and pays huge dividends) is... Downfield Blocking.
Downfield blocking is what allows a basic play to turn into a spectacular/big play. And its also a sign of an unselfish team where each player wants to help his teammates to excel.
I'm going to point out a couple of examples of this using a single play. The play was J-Train's first TD run of the game. Now J-Train gets the "highlight" for this run, but the TD would not have been possible without some great downfield blocking.
Watch this video: Link
And pay attention to the terrific downfield blocking by #5 (Justin Wilson) and #75 (Josh Pitts).
Pitts wins the "Headache Hit of The Week" award for this de-cleater!!!
Over the weekend, I had several people ask me... "How do the Warriors look this year?" My response usually contains these main points:
And the last 2 bullet items (Team Chemistry and Leadership) may be the most important. And I am definitely seeing near the core of both of these traits, a senior who earned his nickname last year....
None other than...
Nigel "The Ninja" Carlton
As I mentioned last season, Nigel is just one of those guys who goes about his business and does it in a "silent" way. You just don't realize how good he is until you re-watch the game highlights and pay attention to his performance.
Stealing the text from the Time-News:
Carlton was 11-for-14 for 188 yards and the touchdown, adding 42 rushing yards on six carries, in a virtually mistake-free game.
How about that??? Virtually "mistake-free."
What more can you ask of a quarterback and team leader?!?!?!
So these are my ramblings for this week. Be sure to come out on Friday night and take the "Flat" out of A.M. Primm stadium!!
Until Friday night.... GO WARRIORS!!!!