Football: Monday Morning Quarterback - Overhills - 2012
November 4, 2012By Kevin McCloskey of Western Alamance High School
Disclaimer: I've been travelling since last Saturday and was on the road again this weekend so I'm pretty much running on empty right now. I usually let my MMQB article form itself in my head during the day on Saturday and am ready to type it out on Sunday morning.
This week... Its just not happening for me. So I apologize for my "Writer's Block" and will do the best I can to get this article written. To top it off, I absolutely hate writing the final MMQB article of the season. I don't want the season to end (unless, of course, its following a state championship).
I confess... Even being the lower seed, I sincerely thought we would handle Overhills fairly easily. After all, we waxed them last year in Round 1 and I felt that the 2012 Warriors were at least as good as the 2011 squad. On the flip-side, I didn't expect Overhills to be leaps-and-bounds better than they were a year ago so I was already looking ahead to a matchup with S. Guilford in Round 2.
Boy was I wrong! The Jaguars were very impressive on both sides of the ball. They took it to us and deserved to win. However, I still think we could have won had we played our 'A' game. In my opinion, we did not play well and did not come anywhere close to playing up to our potential.
In speaking with several people before the game, I made the observation that I really felt like we had only played 1 "bad" game all season (vs. EA). One "bad" game out of 11 is phenomenal in my opinion. Its just hard to play at a sustained level of focus and excellence over a long season with no bye weeks. Even in the losses to Rockingham County and Northern Guilford, I still felt like we played pretty well; with a lot of heart and and skilled execution. But we were flat, sluggish, and mistake-prone vs. EA and the same was true vs. Overhills on Friday evening; even more so. To put it mildly... It was not the Warriors finest performance.
I wish I could pinpoint it and say, "XYZ is the problem." If I could do that, then I would very rich and very successful. The truth of the matter is that I don't know what went wrong on Friday evening and why we didn't play anywhere near our potential.
I really can't explain it. If you can, then please send me a note and share it with me.
One thing I did observe early on was that Overhills was ready! They came out of the locker room full of passion and focus and they were on a mission. It was like they had a vendetta against us and had something to prove.
Just prior to running onto the field, the Jaguars had this thing they did as a team that reminded me of something you would see at a Hawaiian luau. It was a "Tribal Dance" kind of thing consisting of rhythmic slapping of their thigh pads while stomping in unison and chanting something I couldn't understand. But they obviously understood and knew what to do with that passion and focus.
I've got to give Overhills credit... They were ready to play and so were their fans. The Jaguar fans were both numerous and boisterous. This was the first time all season when I felt that the opposing team actually had a "home field advantage."
Three 1st half turnovers could have spelled disaster for the Warriors. But as we went into the locker room at halftime, I felt very, very fortunate to only be down 15-6. Even being down 9 points, I had complete confidence that Warriors would win this game comfortably. I just shrugged off the lackluster first half as "getting it out of our system."
Knowing that we would get the ball to open play in the 3rd quarter, I felt that if we could march down the field and get a score, then the floodgates would open and the "real" Warriors would seize control of this contest. Unfortunately, things didn't work out like I had envisioned. Quite the contrary as a matter of fact.
To go along with the 3 first half turnovers, the Warriors turned it over 3 additional times in the 3rd quarter alone. The Jaguars capitalized and opened up a sizeable cushion.
We did show a little spark with a long TD pass from Nigel to Brock cutting the lead to 14 with 10 minutes to play. But the Jaguars quickly countered with a TD of their own and sealed the deal. As the remaining time ticked away, it just seemed kind of surreal; like this wasn't really happening. The season couldn't be over could it??? I just couldn't believe it nor did I want to believe it.
By the time Kay, Ricky, and I finished videoing our "Warrior Wrapup" segment, I was tired, discouraged, and ready to go home. But we noticed that the WA postgame meeting was still going on. I asked Kay & Ricky if they wanted to go over and listen to which Kay replied, "Yes. They deserve it!"
And Kay was so right! I'm not going to give any details on what was discussed during the postgame meeting. It was very emotional and very personal. I'll just summarize things with 4 words/phrases/emotions that I heard being expressed multiple times by multiple people:
I'm not giving any awards this week. There will be no "MVPs" or "Little Things" or "Dah! Dah! Dah!"
I'm just going to close with a special message to this senior class.... Guys, you are the best! Thank you for taking me along for the ride and befriending me as one of your own.
I don't think I have ever seen a tighter knit group of players than the class of 2013. And the leadership you have displayed is beyond compare. You are a special group of players and an even more special group of young men who will go on to do great things. Of this, I have no doubt.
Thank you for being you! And may God bless each of you along life's journey!
We will all miss you. But we also all know... Once a Warrior; Always a Warrior!