I arrived in Blackwell and parked near the referees who were making last minute wardrobe changes. Trading flip flops for tennis shoes etc. Can’t say that I blame them given the heat and travel comfort. As I neared the gate to the field on the home side Coach Lowry loudly and excitedly yelled out to me, “I didn’t know you were coming!” I laughed and told him I figured by now it was alright to just show up sometimes. He laughed and before he could say much was called out to the field.
Bronte and Blackwell were already suited out and ready to go. I took up residence on the visitors side so I wouldn’t be shooting into the sun. I quickly wished I had put on sunscreen. I somehow walked away from the morning without a sunburn.
I have lots of sideline friends, and I don’t even know their names. But when I see them, we always catch up and enjoy a little visit while we work. I have a few of these in Blackwell. One is the annual staff lady. She is always very nice, and I’m always glad to see her. We were discussing that if you don’t shoot some scrimmages then you are lost with your camera at the first game. Shooting sports is like lots of things if you don’t practice or do it regularly you lose some skills. Mostly your timing and timing is everything in sport photography. You also have to build up to the weather. Shooting some practices and scrimmages in the heat help you adjust so you are a little more prepared for that first set of games. You are never really prepared for the heat but I tell myself it helps.
It’s always fun to see and hear the coaches when they actually have a chance to be on the field and in the action. Scrimmages are the ultimate teaching time. Coaches can talk to players during the plays and actually walk up and place them etc before the ball is hiked. Lots of learning opportunities. Sometimes you even hear coaches ask the opposing team coaches if they can try running a play again and the answer is always yes. It's a low key atmosphere as everyone gets back into the game, including the referees.
Before long Roby showed up. They are new to Six-Man this year. I was excited to have a chance to visit with their head coach, Coach Pantoja, and see their kids on the field. They did well for their first time in Six-Man action.
Blackwell scrimmages are laid back and run at a casual pace. After I watched Roby play and I got some photos of all the teams and a quick interview with Bronte’s Coach Matta, I decided it was time to hit the road for home before the real heat set in. Not to mention, I had to finish packing for my trip to the east to cover more 1A schools before the real season kicks off.
See you on the sidelines!
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