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Michael Rice

Nice Gesture And End To Season

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We ended our season last Wednesday. We lost out elimination game 44-35, but had a nice finish to the season.

The opposing team had just gone ahead 43-26, with under a minute to play. I was out of timeouts and asked the other coach if he would mind using one so I could get some kids, who play almost exclusively defense, on the field for the final offensive series.

He asked the refs to not run the clock on his XP and then used all three of his time outs, so I could have a full series of downs.

I wound up getting each of the two kids I brought in a carry. The first broke off a run to midfield and the other followed that with a run to about the one.

The second one then caught a TD pass on the final play from scrimmage for the year. It was the first catch or run for him.

I had used him a game or two on offense when we were short handed and he acted almost afraid of the ball. He's a good kid, just has some focus issues, so I switched him to solely defense to keep his responsibilities simple.

I thought it was an awesome thing for the other coach to do. He also happens to be our director of the league.

The kids wanted to do something cool on the last play, so we ran the XP with a halfback option. My son, who is my normal QB, got to make a diving catch for the conversion, so that made it even better.

He told me later on that he planned on targeting the boy who caught the TD pass the whole time, since he knew he hadn't scored. That brought a smile to my face.

We wound up 0-9 and that was our only game where the deficit was less than 10 points.

We weren't a bad team, just ungodly slow. That last game, we probably played as well we could possibly play, all things considered, and still came up short against a team whose only wins were against us.

Walking back to the bench, you would have thought they had won the Super Bowl, parents included.

It was nice to end the season playing the best they could and that last drive was a good topping to that.

Our championship rounds were yesterday and I went out to watch some games.

We instituted a coach of the year and player of the year/mental attitude type of player awards for each age group this season.

I wound getting being selected for the 11/12 group, based on a coach and ref vote, and was given a gift basket with some locally made candy and stuff in it.

There's another coach in that age group who've I've come to know fairly well over the last couple of years. We talk strategy and scout other teams for each other, etc and he asked me to draft his daughters in softball this past season and was one of my assistants.

I know he pushed for me to get the award, so it was doubly sweet when he wound up winning for the 9/10 group, which he also coaches in.

We were standing around talking and watching games and a couple of the regular refs and a guy who I have no clue who he was, came up and told us they were glad we had both won.

I never coach to get the appreciation, but it is really nice to know, even when you are losing, people think you are doing things the right way and want you to coach their kids.

My son will be in 7th grade next year. If we can work it schedule wise, he may play his last eligible year of flag, along with school tackle. If the school football schedule stays as it was this year, he can probably do it.

Regardless, I will probably still coach. I may drop down to the 9/10 level. I like having 6 on 6 versus 5 on 5. I think it's easier to hide problem areas that way.

Either way, I think I would be lost without it.

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Great story! What a way to end the season. I know you're not looking for pats on the back, but congrats on your award. You've affected those players in a positive way and don't be surprised when you see a few of them playing hs ball. Always enjoy hearing about teams that aren't made up of super athletic kids having a good time. It's a lot easier to coach when you have a bunch of kids with the skill-sets needed for your particular sport.

This fall, I entered my 10th year of coaching. I took 4 of my freshman players and combined them with 4 other freshman, all of them are going to the same school together and will more than likely play hs ball together. We played in a local basketball tourney at the JV level this weekend. Ended up winning in the finals by one point. Nice way to end my coaching career for a bit. Cool part is seeing the kids shake the other coach's hand and wish him good luck before the game. They also help opponents up when they get knocked down and look everyone in the eye as we go through the line at end of the game. I think you can be competitive and win, but still play with class and sportsmanship.

Keep on coaching!

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Thanks guys :)

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