Need Some Water

February 11, 2020

Need some water photo black-and-white-person-sport-competition

Growing up in grade school I was always looking forward to playing on the school teams. You had to wait until 5th grade to go out for football. Christ the King was a touch league with other Catholic Schools in the area. It may have been touch football ….. but it could get rough.

In 7th grade we thought we had a pretty good team so we challenged the town midget football team to a game of tackle. They thought they would walk on the field and just run us up and down the field. We had a great group of players and boy …. were they surprised? They thought they were playing a bunch of the Catholic School wusses.

We knew most of the kids on the other team for we had grown up with them playing town sports. Initially there was a lot of trash talk going both ways in a fun manner. However…I am pretty sure they had a new found respect after the game.

Standing on the sideline you always waited for your name to be called by the coach. Hutch, we need you to do a fast sweep around the outside. I was always waiting…I was ready. I specifically remember one game, standing on the sideline watching our team, it was a hot Saturday morning. The score was close, everyone was tired.

Finally …. it happened…my name was called… our coach says “ Hutch come here.” I hurried to put my helmet on and as I am running down to him I am desperately trying to buckle my chinstrap.

Yea coach…what do you need? “It’s getting near halftime, the players are tired and thirsty, why don’t you run up and get them some water for half time.”

My heart sank…I was ready but I was not deterred. I loved football and I was determined to hold my head up high. My time would come.

And it did come, in high school I played 3 sports….Football, Basketball and Track. I went out for football my junior year when I realized my career in basketball was waning. Although I loved basketball, the starting 5 when I was a freshman were all sophomores, I could see the writing on the wall, I needed to find a new sport to excel in. I looked to football and track.

I remember a basketball game against one high school in my sophomore or junior year. The other team was playing a man to man defense and I was playing the forward position. The defender kept trying to trash talk me… “Hey, you gotta jockey on,” he kept pushing me and throwing jabs at me as I was making cuts. This went on for the entire quarter. Trying not to get sucked in to his taunting….as I was going up for a rebound, he was just about hanging on my back, I jammed my elbow down his throat. I think he was caught a little off guard. As I made my way up the court he said…”Ohhhh, you shouldn’t have done that, now you really going to get it.” I just ignored him and continued to play.

A few minutes later I got the ball on the right side and I faked a jumper and went down the baseline and under the basket for a reverse layup. As I was extended and in the air the center from the other team came across the lane and punched me in the privates, and as I came down bellied over in pain, he proceeded to do an upper cut that landed on my left eye. He then pushed me and I fell into the stands and the crowd took a shot.

The ref called a foul, Hey, how about throwing them out of the game…

I could barely see and had to leave the game after the foul shot. You are probably asking; did I make the fouls shot?

I really don’t remember. I do remember that I had to wear a patch over my eye for 3 days and I had a slight limp.

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