By: Colten Bishop
In the summer, as football players, we worked very hard to become District 5 champions. At practice we would always say that we wanted to be District 5 champions; last year we were close to that happening. We had a playoff game, but we lost the playoff game by a few points. We players put that chip on our shoulders and let it sink in that we had it but lost it by a few points. Players this year wanted that District 5 Title to bring back to our school and make our community happy.
With the sun beating down on, you the summer practices were the worst, in my opinion. Wearing shoulder pads and a helmet was the worst feeling ever. You felt like you couldn’t breathe from pushing yourself so hard. Conditioning was the four quarters and the county fair, which we did pretty much every week at least two times in the week. I found them both hard. We were tired from practicing and from tackling, and by the end of the practice you had to condition. The four quarters was running from one side of the field to the other four times, it was like playing a game, but instead of that you were running down and back.You’d run two times per quarter. The county fair was like an obstacle course in which you had different stations (running five yards, zaps, up downs and bear crawl) to do to make up for four quarters. I remember being pushed to my limit for the four quarters. I felt like giving up, and I’d questioned myself. Why am I doing this? Is it all worth it?
Football is a year round sport. We start weight lifting a few months after the season ends and from there it’s all about putting in the hard work. Football practice sometimes starts around April or May.
The two games that I found the most challenging this year were playing Northern Bedford County High School (NBC) twice, once in the regular season and then in the District 5 Championship. A few NBC players stated that “they had us.” In my eyes we had them from the start of the game against NBC. They got out hustled by us. In the third and fourth quarter they weren’t playing as hard as we. In the D5 game they ran points up before us, but in the third and fourth quarters we came out on top because we had conditioned all year. Beating NBC was one of the best feelings ever and especially knowing that the NBC coach said they would “finish their season.” during the week of NBC practices to get them motivated for the district 5 championship. The best feeling was that we finished their season and made it to the state playoff game.
Our hardest game was playing Bellwood, when our starting quarterback, Matt Leonard, got hit in the head in the first quarter. I went in for Matt the first half. I was very nervous, but deep down I knew I had to keep calm and relax. Both of our teams were undefeated until they pulled out on top. The second hardest game would be against Farrell in the State Playoff game. They hustled more than we had, and they ran all over us. Since they had such good players, it was hard to shut down every single player with them being more motivated than we.
As a sophomore backup quarterback, I was happy that our team made it to districts and won districts. It was a good feeling we were all looking forward to becoming District 5 Champions, we would talk about it all the time at practice and weight lifting. It was our dream to bring back the title. The best part about that was that we were playing against our rival school NBC. It felt really amazing when the community sent us off to the D5 game and then the state playoff game with signs and banners on Main Street in Saxon. As a sophomore going into my junior year, I have a lot of work to put in. I am looking forward to having a successful year each year that I play. One of our coaches Steve Moore stated, “It was a great year to be at Tussey because we’re bringing it home.”