Orangefield Bobcats Superbowl Winners
PERFECT–As defined by Webster: Brought to completeness; not defective… without fault, flaw, or blemish; without error… The word is used in baseball for a game in which the pitcher allows no base-runners. More accurately it should be a total of 81 pitches thrown; all perfectly placed strikes where the bat never touches the ball. In football it’s the undefeated season, including playoffs and championship game. But how does that allow for giving up any points, turnovers, or even penalties in the midst of that run? Some would say that perfect is relative to each person in any given situation; as in the perfect steak, truck, or even spouse. The Bible states that there are none perfect other than Jesus. So why do we even use the word? Just ask the STJFL Orangefield Bobcat flag football team.
After a major decision to let all comers participate in playing, the Orangefield division ended up with twenty-four team members, eclipsing the league average by more than five players. Only five of those were returning with experience. After learning some rules (each player must be guaranteed 10 plays) the expectations of this father were simply hoping the boys were able to have fun, learn a little, and win a few games. Most other parents, and seemingly coaches, seemed to think the same. As the team progressed however, those expectations began to rise.
After a convincing victory in an exhibition scrimmage, the boys ran off eight straight wins in nine weeks for an undefeated regular season, outscoring their opponents 191-38. Goal number one was accomplished. Then the question began to be spoken out loud. Could this be the perfect season? While coaches tried to downplay and take it one game at a time, parents began to itch for the next game. Two weeks later, they played back-to-back shut-out games in the playoffs, while scoring another 41 points, to earn a trip to the Super Bowl. Nov. 12 at 12 p.m., with parents pacing after sleepless nights and coaches talking last minute strategies; while volunteers held down the bobcat tunnel from the wind and the jumbo-tron at Lamar University showed their faces; the boys simply went to work, joining the ranks of teams like the ‘72 Miami Dolphins with a dominating 28-7 victory over an also un-defeated Nederland team. The season was complete. But perfect?
Just ask any parent on the team if their boy is perfect. The answer; a laugh, sideways smile, or any nicely stated version of “no.” Ask the coaches who had to holler at kids to hustle, block, or even just stand still for the last 18 weeks. Perfect? Maybe it was better stated in the football movie, Remember the Titans, when the character Julius stated that while none of the teammates were perfect on their own, they together, as a team on the field, were perfect. Still, the thought seems out of reach.
But maybe, just maybe, while we watch from the sidelines as some of innocence and pureness of heart reach for the un-attainable; while coaches teach to play the game right even when it gets ugly, and to stay away from wrong; when Almighty God is asked before every game to watch over our boys in their battles and thankfulness is returned to Him afterwards; maybe, just maybe, He looks down and allows us a glimpse of perfection. The pure joy in the moment the boys knew they won; the pride on the faces of every father that silently high-fived each other, knowing words wouldn’t do justice; the love and support showed by every mother who made or held signs, cheered in unison or solo, paced and worried about their babies with no pads to protect them; the smiles on the faces of coaches who knew this was something special to be cherished forever; the gleam of the trophies; and the sun shining down on it all.
Perfect? It doesn’t get any closer. And when it’s all said and done, to God be the glory, and to the boys…
LET’S GO BOBCATS!
Sitting left to right: Morgan Sampson, Brayden Parker, Cameron Dishler,
Jason Bodin and Pete Ragusa. Second Row: Leyton Loft, Nathan Miller,
Jacob Worthy, Tyran Kelly, Grayson Mills, Jackson Humplik, Corbin
Pennington, Carson Manuel and Landon Kibodeaux. Third Row: Joshua
Eckerle, Josiah Kibodeaux, Gavin Perry-Koci, Gavin Pollock, Asher
Addison, Skylar Delahoussaye, Kayden Kibodeaux, Kane Smith, Cameron
Dearing and Mason Houghton. Back row: Coaches Charlie Ragusa, Jerett
Delahoussaye, Michael Sampson, Richard Bodin, Rowdy Smith, Carl Dearing
and Daniel Houghton.