Football season has begun and Joshua couldn’t be more thrilled. He misses tackle (he was in full pads last year), but he still loves flag. (It was his choice to skip the expensive tackle league this year and use that money to get to grand nationals for wrestling instead. He took 1st in Freestyle and 2nd in Folkstyle so it was worth it in the end.) Maybe next year we’ll pad him up again, but flag is a nice, cheap alternative.
Joshua’s first football game was today. I wasn’t exactly excited to get up at 6:30 this morning, but I did anyway. My days of sleeping in are over now anyway because school starts next week and every Saturday from now through Christmas is already booked. Every Saturday has at least one big event (football game, gymnastics meet, cheer competition, or wrestling tournament) and many have more than one. I’d better get used to being up at 6:30 because it’s going to happen daily from now on!
I helped kids get ready, made everyone breakfast burritos, and loaded the van with our gear. We made it out the door around 7:30 and arrived at the field just before 8am.
Josh had an hour of practice before his 9am game. The kids and I played nearby until 15 minutes before game time. Then we spread a blanket on the wet grass and settled in to watch.
The kids enjoyed snacks and played with friends during the game. Asher and Jacob were content to hang out in the stroller (I think they were both still a little tired) so my hands were free to take pictures. Rick had to work, but he called several times for updates.
Joshua’s team, the Cobras, got stomped pretty hard. The boys were afraid to run, afraid to pull flags, and just timid in general. They lost yards on most plays because they would get nervous and run away from the defense, and they couldn’t stop the other team because they were too scared to jump in and pull flags.
Not Joshua though! Our boy was fast and fearless! He played hard and he played well. He pulled a lot of flags. He was the shortest player on both teams, but he was really fast and he wasn’t scared to jump in after a flag. He stopped two touchdowns and an extra point as well. He zipped up the middle and sacked the quarterback, pushing the other team back a good distance.
Josh got two chances to run the ball (they rotate every position as equally as possible). The first time he ran about half the field before he was stopped near the end zone. Later, when he ran again, he ran about 1/3 of the field and scored our team’s only touchdown. I’m still impressed that he made it through with his flags still on.
I was so proud of our tough little guy. He worked hard, played well, and was definitely the stand out on his team. Way to go, Joshua!
Joshua, in yellow, going after a flag.
The picture itself isn’t great, but it was a cool moment. This is right after Joshua dove for a flag and caught it, “tackling” the quarterback when he was just seconds away from a touchdown. See Joshua on his belly after his leap? I love how his legs are up in the air, like he didn’t care where or how he landed as long as he caught that flag. And see the white end zone line? This tackle was at the last possible second, which made it very exciting.
This is just steps away from Joshua’s touchdown, the only time his team scored. I’m still impressed that he managed to keep his flags on and not run out of bounds. He told me later that he was watching the other boys, the white line, and the end zone all at the same time.