BY TERRANCE GAVAN – SPORTS
Fall is for football. An autumnal rant of cleat and pad and hard plastic hats. The pads of war. That’s hyperbole. Football ain’t war.
Football is fun. And strategized out of all proportion. E=mc2? Peanut scribbles when placed against the complex fulcrum of the stutterpick and twin post-corner option on the third hit. Skeptical about that? Well, just look at those x’s and o’s.
For me, football will always be Jim Daley, at Pius X scribbling defensive assignments, and linebacker options, in the teacher’s room; all those x’s and o’s; Daley, as mad as a bloody hatter. A coach first. Who lived for the fall. And football. Back in the days when a coach could wander back to the bus at half-time.
Ask a player to stand guard at the door so that Teddy Larose would not interrupt his half-time pep talk.
Then deliver. A bluesy and ribald expletive-dappled talk that would have put Sister Mary Francis O’Hanlan, sitting there in the stands, in the intensive care unit of the Queensway Carleton with a major coronary.
Football. Tailgates and fantasy and couches and coaches and players.
That’s all a bunch of hooey of course. Brought to you by the fine folks that deliver Manning foie gras; and Brady under glass; and hyperbole via the sanskritese of one Chris Berman. A mouth that spews grandeloquently neon stutters… not words.
Nix that paternal bunch of malarkey. I love my Vikes but that ain’t football. That’s business and I get it. I love it. But it ain’t football. It’s entertainment.
Kids play football. High schools play football. Haliburton Highlands Secondary School plays football.
My football rests here in Haliburton. Preferably on a sun-drenched Brohman pitch, with a warm breeze blowing off Head Lake buffeting over a locomotive and a jet fighter.
Last week HalNews.ca sent a photographer over to the practice field to pops some shots of that autumnal rite of passage.
Later, I met Bruce Griffith – Red Hawk junior head coach – at a local grocery store.
“Just after you left?” said Griff. “Three guys ended up at the hospital.”
Tom Paul – junior standout – injured a hand and will be back in a few weeks. Or perhaps sooner?
The Hawks seniors were dealt a more significant blow. Louis Ferracuti – a two way star for Griff’s junior team last season – who broke a collarbone last season, suffered a season-ending injury to the same collar bone said Coach Griffith.
“Not a good day at practice,” said Griffith.
And that’s fall football in a nutshell. And so is the slideshow below.
Enjoy the ride. Hawks Home opener is coming. The senior and junior Hawks play two road games versus Fenelon Falcons and Kenner Rams before hosting their first game near the end of the month.
(Tomorrow I will have a slideshow from the Field Hockey Pitch)
Slideshow and picture gallery below.
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