Just a couple of items for you this Saturday.
When this edition hit the stands this morning, I was somewhere between Discovery Park and Downtown Safford, walking in the 3.2k Salsa Walk. I mention this because I am sure I was up and down the sidelines at the Thatcher-Safford football game last night at least 30 times.
Tonight, I will be on the sidelines at the Eastern Arizona game against Arizona Western. Then I will be at the Mt. Graham Hill Climb at 6 tomorrow morning. I really need to renegotiate my sports writer/photographer contract with the Courier. It said nothing about being an athlete.
In reality, since I got back to the Gila Valley, I have dropped about 50 pounds, and this job has been really great in helping me get back into shape. I will talk about that again in a month or two.
During the past two weeks, I have had the unique pleasure to ride with the Gila Monsters on their road trips to both Scottsdale and Mesa. It has been a wonderful experience.
I got to know some of the players really well and had some interesting adventures.
On the way to Mesa, we stopped in Superior for a quick bathroom break, and the bus could not pass through the lot because some cars were blocking the way.
I quickly volunteered to go into a restaurant adjoining the lot and resolve the situation. I found the owner very quickly, but when I came out, the bus was already out of the lot and in the highway median. Panic!
From what was described to me later by coach John O’Mera, I made a dash, then leaped a short wall, broke to my right, crossed the first lane of traffic, then finished my run up the side of the bus and into the door. Coach O’Mera said I had some good moves, and he might put me in the game that evening.
The next day, he told me the rest of the story. He said when the bus pulled out, all of the players started calling out that they were leaving the sports writer behind. That’s when coach O’Mera and the players watched me make my moves. I guess there was some cheering going on, too, according to coach O’Mera.
Thanks, guys, for not leaving me and caring that I was along for the ride.
We stopped at a pretty nice Golden Corral in Mesa for the pregame meal. I believe we sent a wave of panic through the restaurant. I know some frequent senior citizens to that establishment were fearful that there would be no food left and the restaurant would not be able to keep up. That’s what one woman was saying as I stood in line to get in. She was really clucking about the scene at hand.
I am happy to report the team was on its best behavior, and there was plenty of food to go around. No senior citizens went without. No senior citizen had Gila Monster for dinner and, likewise, no seniors ended up as Gila Monster kibble.
I over heard three senior women over by the salad bar whispering and pointing. “Ethel you go behind the carving station, I’ll duck behind the desert bar, and Bertha, you’re the decoy, head straight for the chocolate fountain. Remember we’re after the big one. He’s the one with the purple hat.” They made a high five and clapped hands.
I’m not sure what happened next because I was distracted by an elderly gentleman with pom-poms. There were no penalties or injuries on the play, however, the score remained tied.
I just want to thank coach O’Mera for his gracious offer to allow me to ride with the team. I am glad we are not traveling to Yuma this week and they are coming here. I have to admit the physical part of the day after has been brutal on me, but it is making me stronger and healthier. This kind of goes back to that contract re-negotiation thing.
I hope everyone gets off the couch this weekend and does something outside. There is no excuse for laziness right now. There is a lot going on in the Valley. If you can’t find something to do, you’re just not trying. So no whining.
I have got to pull out my contract though and check the run-your-butt-off clause. Whew! I need a Gatorade. I hope to see you, at one or all of the events this weekend. If you see me this morning I will still be happy to accept your donation to go into the pool for the Boys and Girls Club. I will be the one reading what appears to be a contract and sweating profusely.
Final notes on Fort Thomas and Duncan football
Jr. Tessay for Fort Thomas is rated 26th out of all high schools in the nation in total yards gained with 1,185 yards passing and 621 yards rushing for a total over six games of 1,806 all-purpose offensive yards. That’s an average of 361.2 yards a game!
Cale Merrell of Duncan is rated 25th out of all high schools in the nation in rushing with 1,146 yards in five games with an average of 229.2 yards per game. His long run was 72 yards this season with 13 touchdowns.
A great big hat tip to both of you!