I’m ready to play. It was about 11 a.m. and Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff had just finished talking to his offensive players.
There was something about what he was saying — he didn’t raise his voice, he didn’t have to — the message made me want to find a way to borrow an extra pair of pads and suit up for tonight’s 8:30 p.m. game against Oaks Christian.
So, if his short talk got me ready to play, I can only imagine the impact it had on the players, who are now resting in their hotel rooms, staying off their feet before it’s time for one more walkthrough and final game preparation.
The day started with an 8 a.m. breakfast, players stumbling through the hotel lobby to two banquet rooms where they had the options of eggs, oatmeal, toast and peanut butter and jelly.
After breakfast came the walkthroughs, sessions for special teams, offense and defense. I continue to be impressed with the preparation that goes into an event like this.
I don’t have a college experience to compare it to, but it’s similar to what I imagine a college team would go through on a road trip. So far it’s been a trip I won’t forget and, for the kids who play tonight, win or lose, it’s going to be memory they will always hold close.
The anticipation for this game continues to build among those who around the program. I’m ready to watch a game. I can’t believe I have to wait until 8:30. At least there’s a full schedule of college football to watch.
With that, I’m going to shift my attention from this laptop to the TV, with a stop in the California sunshine. I’ll have more updates throughout the day on Twitter @masonkelley.