By Dency McClure
I made it out to Evant today. They are the school with the cannon that fires during games. Only school I know with one. Now you are all wondering about it aren’t you? I’ll just let those of you who haven’t been to an Evant game make plans to go to one to see their cannon. It will be worth the trip especially if you talk to the operators and find out how it all works.
As I was waiting on the field the boys were meandering out of the locker room. Usually I get the odd looks and hear whispers about who I am. I always like to hear who they think I am. You just never know what they think. Today however was a bit different. One after another of the boys spoke to me with a simple hello or how are you? It was extremely nice to be greeted warmly.
They have plenty of kids playing this year. Maybe not enough for a full JV as well but definitely enough for a good team. There were just a few not in pads yet. It has been interesting going to so many practices and seeing some schools with lots of kids not in pads and some with everyone in pads.
Once the coaches hit the field we exchanged greetings and practice began. The boys led off with their stretches. Then some good old passing drills. Which by the way they had a great catch rate. I’ll just say I’d be a bit worried if I was in their district with only a running game. Then on to running some plays. Plays are good practice for me too. It helps me get ready for shooting real games again.
Coach Johnson headed up to the press box and started an amazing playlist. A little Queen, a little country, a little bit of every style there is I think. It was perfect. I caught myself moving to a few. I especially felt the country songs fitting as the field is on the edge of town and at least two roosters kept crowing the entire practice. I bet the kids and coaches don’t even hear them anymore.
It was fun to watch assistant Coach Helms on the field. I have shared the sidelines with his father, also a six-man coach, many times. I was shocked how much their body language on the field is the same. I’m betting if you put some of my photos of the two of them coaching side by side for comparison it would be a match.
I’ve been doing this long enough now to be watching men I used to shoot as players be coaches and referees. That happens faster than you think. Just a few years can make that change. It gives me a good feeling when they know who I am and are excited to see me.
Around 5:00 a man pulled up and came to watch from the shade of the concession stand. If he isn’t a dad I bet he is a big fan. He never disturbed or said anything but he was watching intently. I glanced at him a few times but I don’t think he ever noticed me until I walked by him to leave. As I headed to the car, I spoke to him.
When I went to put my camera up I saw the stack of shirts I have. I only have one size left and after sizing up the coaches I knew they wouldn’t fit any of them. But, I realized the man watching was most likely the perfect size. I grabbed one and walked back and gave it to him. He thanked me and as I walked away I could tell he had unfolded it and saw Six-Man Crazy and the 40 yard line because I heard a very pleased, “Well I be danged!” That made my whole day, and I think it made his.
I headed out and made sure to stop at The Elk Stop. The staff is always friendly and everything is nice and clean. I could have waited until Hamilton to stop and gas up but I’d rather give my dollars to a 1A business. By the way they still take cash! That’s an added bonus right now.
See you on the sidelines!
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