Football: Monday Morning Quarterback - McMichael 2012
October 21, 2012By Kevin McCloskey of Western Alamance High School
One of the great paradoxes of writing an article such as this... Sometimes, having too much stuff to write about is more difficult than having too little. Such is the case this week when the Warriors provided me with more than enough ammo to write a novel, much less a weekly editorial.
After the game when Jamie Billings, Savannah Snuffer and myself gathered together to video the weekly "Warrior Wrapup" segment, this paradox was front-and-center in our thought process... "What are we going to talk about?"
There were so many big plays and so many things happening with the football program, that we basically just decided to just "wing it" and talk about whatever came to mind. And that's the same approach that I am going to use with this weeks MMQB article.
Stealing from Nike's popular "Just Do It!" advertising campaign, I am going with...
"Just Wing It!"
Do you know what THE single-most surprising stat of the game was????
ZERO!!! Nada! Zilch! None! Nothing! Goose Egg!
Now I know you are all are thinking...
"I know what Kevin's referring to... Its the final score. We shutout McMichael 66-0!"
And here's my response (doing my best Lee Corso impersonation)...
Now that's a good guess (and a very important stat that we will talk about later). But the ZERO that stands out to me represents the number of Pee-Wee's who ended up in the large mud puddle that was present down on the edge of the field where everyone gathers (and must be crossed) before running onto the field.
I just knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that at least one (probably multiple if not all) Pee-Wee's would accidentally (or on purpose) stomp their way through that mud puddle and create a great video segment for this year's "C'mon Man!" feature.
Darn it Pee-Wee's!!! Why did you have to listen this time??? I wanted some mud!! :)
Just kidding of course. I absolutely love the NA Pee-Wee night. The smiles and excitement and enthusiasm on those young children's faces is absolutely priceless!
And major props to all those who work with NA youth football. Its a fantasic program and you make a HUGE contribution to the entire NA/WA communtity through your involvement.
In addition to the Pee-Wee's, I'll tell you someone else who listened to their "elders" and took some advice from an old-timer this week.... TJ Harris!
Last week, I chastised the kick coverage team for poor play vs. Eastern Guilford. This week, on the opening kickoff, TJ absolutlely rocked the McMichael kick returner and kind of set the tone for the whole game (especially the defense). Just a few minutes later, the Manimal had an impressive sack when he grabbed the Phoenix QB by the back of his jersey and whipped him to the ground like a rag doll!
Speaking of offense... How do you like this stat line???
Now I don't know the formula behind the NFL's "Quarterback Efficiency Rating," but I dare say.... THAT IS WHAT I CALL EFFICIENT!
You know... I think I unintentionally insulted Nigel Carlton during my postgame interview by suggesting that he had "around 4 TD passes." When you throw 6 (50% more than 4) I guess that is a serious miscalculation on my part. Nigel was quick to correct me! :)
My daughter will tease Kay and I that Nigel is our "3rd child" because we think so highly of him. I take that as a compliment! Great job again by #4!!!
I'm going to give my MVP Award this week to another player who I hold in very high regard. Truth be told.... This could be anyone on the team because I hold the ALL Warriors in very high regard.
But the guy who really put on a show this week was...
Justin "PrimeTime" Wilson
Talk about a playmaker!
J-Wil had 3 TD catches of 55, 40, and 62 yards respectively. Two of those TDs really should not have been TDs but Justin's "nifty footwork" (stealing a quote from the Times-News) turned routine receptions into spectacular scoring plays!
On defense, J-Wil had another intereception and a couple of beautiful pass breakups.
Wow! I am so happy that Justin is only a junior and we have one more year to watch him create highlights!
PrimeTime! PrimeTime! PrimeTime!
Last week, I accidentally started something that I want to continue on a weekly basis. I'll call it my "Dah! Dah! Dah!... Dah! Dah! Dah!" segment (in reference to the catchy tune that ESPN plays in conjunction with highlights).
This week, I captured 4 plays that are deserving of "Dah! Dah! Dah!... Dah! Dah! Dah!"
And here they are!!! LINK
So in addition to those already mentioned, who else earned a a shoutout this week???? Let's find out!
Now for this week's "Its The Little Things" Award.... Neil Kernodle
Well, its really not a little thing this week. Its a HUGE, gigantic, monumental kind of thing. The kind of thing that makes you reflect on your life and what's really important.
As you all know, Sr. LB/DL Neil Kernodle's father, Talmage, passed away on Thursday. And, as you probably know by now, Neil chose to suit up for the Warriors (barely 24 hours later) and play his heart out; both in honor of his father and also out of love for his teammates; his second family.
When I found out about Talmage's passing, I began to wonder how I could address it in this article. Even through Saturday morning, I still wasn't sure what to say. But as we pulled into the parking lot of Harris Teeter to do some grocery shopping on Saturday morning, a song came on the radio that gave me an inspiration. Isn't it funny how an old song can do just that? The power of music I suppose. But I'm not going to tell you the song just yet.
You see.... Another thing happened this week that was very positive. I invited Coach Josh Cranfill to start writing articles for this web site. I told Josh to just "write about whatever you want to write about. You have complete autonomy."
Well... Josh's first article was spot on! The title of the article... "We Are A Family" and Josh pretty much nailed what I had going through my mind but was unable to put to words.
If you haven't read Josh's article (or even if you have), I absolutely encourage you to stop for a moment and read it now. Just click this LINK.
After you wipe away a tear or two, you may realize that I still haven't told you about the song I heard in the Harris Teeter parking lot. This goes back to 1979. If you're a baseball fan, you may remember that in '79, the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied from a 3-games-to-1 deficit to win the World Series in game 7; on the road vs. the Baltimore Orioles. It was one of the most dramatic and heartfelt comebacks in baseball history.
Throughout the season, the Pirates had adopted a theme song of unity and this song carried them through the World Series championship. Its title... "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge. Here's a link to the youtube video: LINK
This is what I heard on the radio on Saturday morning.
This is what made me go... "Aha! Now I know what to write."
This is my connection to Josh.
This is my inspiration.
This is Talmage's legacy.
This is what Neil exemplifies.
WE ARE FAMILY!
And it rang true in the interviews I did following Friday's game. When discussing how the team felt about each other and how everyone came together in the face of tragedy this week, the word that came up multiple times was "Family."
We are a family at Western Alamance. And this week, in his passing and through his son's courage, strength, and love, Talmage Kernodle reminded us of that fact.
Neil... You are a Warrior! And you and your family are all part of the Warrior Family.
Its election season and it sounds like its going to be a close race. So I imagine that about half the people who read this article will vote for Obama. And the other half will vote for Romney. The Warrior Family is likely divided right down the middle when it comes to politics.
So lets forget about what separates us for a moment and get back to what draws us together as the Warrior Family.
How do we do that????
Well let me close by addressing next week's game and give you something that I think we can all agree on.....