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The Trip to the Dome
This was a trip that every Elkton Elk football player had dreamed of since he was a boy. This was also a trip that no Elkton football team had ever made. In 2006 this dream came true for many players and hard deserved coaches. With a lot of time and effort put into the trip on everyone’s part. Players put in a lot of hard work into the off-season and also the regular-season. Every player wanted it as bad as the next player. The trip was not always as easy as the Elks made it look. This was a hard trip. There was always some loud mouth sports writer saying that the dominating Elks couldn’t do it. However, the mighty Elks proved these writers, who thought they knew it all, wrong! In 2006 the Elkton Elks earned a trip to play in the 9AA state championship title game.
I was a junior, starting at fullback and linebacker. I remember through the cold, wind -sucking playoffs, our team was put down every game we played. Everyone said that we couldn’t do it. The rough and ready team was ready to prove them wrong. Let me tell you we proved them wrong. We slaughtered our opponents in the regular season. We also made them our three course meal with dessert in the play-offs.
I will never forget those atomic bomb huge feelings after winning every game. The feelings got stronger and stronger after every grueling game we played. The feeling after the semi-final game would be the last of feeling like a champion. However, the feeling was amazing. I will never forget all of the people lining our small, but huge field.
After winning this game we were on our way to the Dome. We had not even a week to get ready for this heavily weighted game. We thought we were well prepared.
I remember the night before this enormous game. I thought I had butterflies in the play-offs. Now those butterflies seemed like ants compared to these mammoth butterflies. I didn’t sleep much the night before.
I remember showing up in our small but supportive community on Thursday morning at 7:30 A.M. There were two big yellow busses lining the school. They had “Go Elks” and the nervous players’ entire numbers window chalked on the windows. The people were everywhere. All of the players were scurrying around making sure that they had every important piece to their blue and white uniforms. I remember our coaches, that seemed cool and collective all throughout the season, running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Enormous coolers were filled with Gatorade and apples. Every play that was going to be playing was required to drink water or Gatorade. I don’t think it really helped due to the fact that we were so nervous we were sweating it out as fast as it was going into us.
The trip down seemed like a year -long journey. These mammoth -size butterflies were flying around in my stomach like a monkey in a cage at the zoo. These butterflies made me so nervous that I couldn’t eat when we stopped.
The nervousness that was built up to the anticipation of this game was getting about as bad as a little kid in a candy store. The thoughts running through my, already what seemed full, head.
In the locker room I have never ever felt this sense of nervousness. I was about ready to let all of my red Gatorade go; however, I kept it inside of me. I remember the pre-game talk done by the head coach Tal Farnham. After the his speech had ended he said, “lets get it done boys.”
I remember the feeling of feeling like a champion coming out onto the huge, gigantic, bleacher filled dome. I thought the butterflies were going to rip my churning stomach open and fly away. This is a feeling that I wish every high school sports player could experience. It was an amazing feeling.
The adrenaline was racing through my body like a rocket heading for the moon. This feeling was about ready to explode inside of me as I was waiting for my name to be called in the starting lineup. Finally it was and we marched off of the field to sing the national anthem. After this, never –ending song ended; it was time to do what we had come to do, play football.