There were five seconds left in the game and it was our ball. The score was 7-6 in favor of the hated Clayton Valley varsity football team. Down at our own twenty-yard line was the site of the final battle that would decide who won the war. The referee blows his whistle and both sides line up head to head. Steam coming from the helmets was a sure sign of a long hard battle. I clinched my hand around the ball ready to hike it. The feeling of nervousness ran through me like wild fire. Set! Hut 1! yelled Trevor Pierson. I snapped the ball simultaneously, then proceeded to vigorously try to scoop block the nose tackle. It was a pitch right , one of the team s most successful plays. We executed it as perfect as it could get. Mike Humphrey had the ball, running up the sideline he dodged a few would-be tacklers as the buzzer rang. Seventy yards later it came down to just him and three Clayton Valley defenders. On the two-yard line he was taken down. The sideline was in tears, some of our coaches were furious, and the others were just proud of us to make it this far. It was a great ride that lasted longer than most expected.
Four months earlier, most of the juniors from the Junior Varsity level moved up to the Varsity level. There they joined the seniors to form a so-called team. But in fact it was the total opposite. The juniors stuck together and so did the seniors. For two years running, the Amador Valley Varsity Football team has won the Northern California 2A Championships. As a junior, I had many expectations to fulfill. Not being a real team made it harder to follow through on those expectations.
As the season started, we had trouble getting off the ground. Team Unity was a major part, which we had none of. We lost the first three games embarrassingly. The newspapers were already writing us off. Sports page headlines read Amador Valley: Time to wave good-bye to a three-peat We as a team were ready for a change. The next week we started off with a team meeting. As a team, we discussed many issues that needed to be dealt with. Also, made changes to improve on our team unity.
On the fourth week, we started a run for the trophy. Beating our opponents without mercy was our mentality for the rest of the season. The last game was against our cross-town rivals the Foothill Falcons. Winner got bragging rights for a whole year. Unfortunately we lost, that still didn t bring us down to where we started. We made the playoffs with a record of 6-4. Proving the papers wrong was just an added bonus. In the first round match, we bounced back from last week s loss and humiliated Ygnacio Valley. The team smelled three-peat. Our second round match was against Clayton Valley, who beat us in an exhausting defensive battle. Getting to the playoffs was not our only achievement, but overcoming differences and becoming a team was an achievement in itself.
Achieving team unity is not an easy feat to accomplish. Many teams all over the world struggle because the lack of team unity. Professional sport teams may have the hardest time at becoming a team. When you have a superstar on a team, everyone looks to him or her to do everything for the whole team. In addition to being the superstar , he or she tends to try and take on the role of Mr. or Mrs. I can do it all . Moreover, that is why professional teams with many no-name players tend to do better because they are there to win and are not worried about being in the spotlight. Nowadays, superstars are setting bad examples for the younger generation especially because of their flamboyance. Young kids today try to emulate their favorite superstars, who in turn forget about his or her teammates. This leads to selfishness and less team effort. The lack of team unity may hurt the kids in the future, especially in high school.
In high school, there are many different sports to choose from which gives countless opportunities to become a part of a team. The unity of a team brings on friendships that last forever. Lessons to be learned not only come from the coach but also from each other. Getting to know one s teammate is on the same line as getting along with a sibling. Not only does team unity give the sense of brotherhood, but also gives a new-found respect for one another.