This is Noah's first year playing flag football. He's playing Dist 5 ball instead of Upward. This league is sponsored through the school district and they start the kids out running similar plays to the high school program. This way, if a kid plays his entire elementary school years in the program, he should be able to slide right into middle school and high school football with few problems. That's probably one reason our high school team is nationally ranked now.
I have no problem with Upward Sports because the kids do get Christian teachings and devotions at the practices and games and I think that's wonderful. This is the only Gospel that some of these kids ever hear and that's great. However, I do have a hard time with the "everybody's a winner" philosophy. I understand that it builds self esteem but at the same time I wonder if it does more harm than good when it comes to 'real life' lessons. When a child gets out in the real world and finds out that there really are winners and losers and that you can't be the winner all the time, can that realization push them into depression? It can be a real shocker to find out life's not always fair.
Anyways, back to my topic. I never thought Noah would do very well on the gridiron because he's small for his age but boy was I wrong. He's really a go getter. He's playing on the defensive side of the ball and dead after the guy with the ball to grab his flag. There's some pretty big kids out there and he gets knocked down occasionally but instead of crying, like I expected, and running to his mama, he jumps up and is right back in there. Most of the time instead of getting knocked down, he zips right past the big guys because he's so small. It's fun to watch him in action.
I stand on the sidelines coaching him along, even though I'm not his coach. I'll bark an order out to him and he just looks at me like I'm stupid. The other kid's parents just kind of look at the old man and laugh. Sometimes he gets to go in on offense and he plays on the O line. Now you'd think that a kid his size wouldn't stand a chance in front of some of those big kids but he stands his ground pretty good. He got a flag thrown on him for holding one time because the kid was getting by him so he grabbed his shirt and threw him down on the ground. Never would have thunk it.
In last night's game, he wasn't hustling like he has in the past. I think the coach had had a talk with the team about blitzing because in this age group it's against the rules. When he came over to the sidelines after the game and Jessi and I were prodding him about why he wasn't going in after the flag he gave us that "DUH" look and said " I can't Mama, I'm a linebacker". Kids, what can you do with 'em?