I had a box that needed to go out to the car, so I told him to help me take it out there, and then I gave him a pep talk about how I had talked to the Head Coach that morning and how he said that they probably wouldn't even play the 6th graders and how they had just needed the 6th graders to have enough boys to even be able to play this year. And I told him that he was committed to it now and that he had to go because if he didn't and they didn't have enough players, they would forfeit the game, etc. etc. and that the team was counting on him. What made hime feel much better was I said even if he didn't play a single play and the team won, they all are winners! So, when his daddy came to pick him up, he was feeling better.
Now on to the Game!
When he came out with the rest of the team, he kind of stayed back behind everyone or over to one side or the other. I could tell he was SO nervous and trying not to attract any attention so he wouldn't get picked to play. But since Rankin scored a touchdown on their 2nd play and proceeded to get 2 more in the next 10 minutes, the coaches decided to put 6th graders in, as you can see in this picture, as the coaches are pointing at the littlest Red Devils...
The 6th grade Rankin Red Devil players are:#54-Nathan (my little boy)
and #80 Andrew (he's the son of the tall thin guy with the camera, Hal, the local newspaper editor)
In the second picture they are receiving their instructions from Assistant Coach Gamboa.
Then the 3rd, they are ready to play! Nathan was matched up against the big guy you see over the center.
He did so well his first play! He just grabbed that guy and hung on! It was like watching two rams who butted heads and just kept pushing at each other, neither one budging an inch and not letting the other get around him. Everyone after the game was very impressed with that play and told Nathan what a good job he did! He was so proud of himself!
Here he is up against another big guy, the coaches kept putting him in there against those guys and he kept holding his ground. And #80 Andrew, he surprised everyone too, he kept sneaking around everyone and almost had 2 sacks, the other teams quarterback would really quick throw the ball away to avoid it!
This picture requires a little explaination, the little guy on the other team is about to hand off the ball to the receiver right after the snap, but can you see the difference in size between their guys and our guys. Those are probably 8th graders against our 6th graders, but our guys held their ground and Rankin won 56-7!
After he got to play a few plays and came out for a break, all the bigger guys were slapping his back telling them how well he did and I could tell, he finally felt like part of the team. No more standing behind everyone or off to the side anymore!