Wow, did you see that Yankee-Orioles game last night? Just a couple hours removed from that magical battle in the Bronx and I still can’t believe what happened.
Joe Girardi has the onions to go up to Alex Rodriguez, the 200 million dollar man, and says to him that he has decided to pinch hitting for him in the bottom of the 9th inning.
So Raul Ibanez steps to the plate and like a scene from a movie the wily veteran sends one over the right field fence and the ball game is tied. And if that wasn’t enough, he steps up in the bottom of the 12th inning and on the first pitch back from commercial break, he crushes another one, this time into a cargo ship out in the Atlantic.
You just can’t even dream of a more story book ending made for the silver screen. Unless of course he got the girl that he was courting throughout the entire movie, but that is a whole other topic we won’t get into.
Now I am not a Yankee fan at all, nor will I continue on talking about this historic game, but it ties into what the season of fall is all about. Change, and magical endings.
With the final week of the high school football season set to kickoff this Friday night, I thought that I would take a minute to reflect back on the year while also peering into the future a bit with the playoffs set to begin very shortly.
This is the time of the year where the proverbial men are separated from the boys. Heros are born in October.
This season has been a fantastic one to cover and be apart of. Locally, there was a team in the Madison West Regents that, seemingly out of nowhere, rose from the ashes like a phoenix after a 1-8 record last year, and now has the opportunity to advance to 7-1 on the season this year if the Regents can upset defending Big 8 Conference champion, Verona, on Friday night.
Another story book ending could be in the making in Madison for that matchup.
A second local story that could go down in the history books is that of the Big Foot Chiefs and the teams undeniable All-State running back, Mason Dixon.
With 24 rushing touchdowns on the season, Dixon leads the entire state of Wisconsin in rushing scores and is second in the state in rushing yards per attempt with an even 14.0 yards. His Big Foot Chiefs are 7-0 on the season and look like a prime candidate to hoist a D-III gold ball in Madison at the end of the playoffs if everything goes as planned.
The Sun Prairie Cardinals, ranked second in the state in D-I in the wissports.net poll and third in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel poll, also look like the team to beat in the DI ranks thanks to a potent rushing attack led by Big 8 conference leading runner, Donte Starlin-Merriam, and one of the states best defenses.
The Cardinals have three shutout victories on the season and could potentially add the teams fourth this Friday against Madison East. On top of the shutouts, the Cardinals have not allowed more than seven points in any contest this season. If defense wins championships, this team is also a prime candidate to win a State Championship.
All things considered with these teams and so many others, it all comes down to if you produce in October. Nothing else matters.
Looking ahead, anything is possible. That is the beauty of playoffs at any level. Once you are in, you can win.
Going back to my high school playing days at New Berlin Eisenhower, a D-III school in Waukesha county, our team won three conference championships in four years and had just five losses in that span, but never made it past the second round of the playoffs.
It doesn’t matter if a team goes undefeated during the regular season if they can’t produce come playoff time, just ask the Green Bay Packers.
High school football is a fantastic opportunity for numerous communities to come together and cheer on their favorite teams.
This time of year marks the changing of the seasons and the classic Wisconsin type shift from warm night air to drastically cold evenings under the lights.
So grab the warmest blanket you have, a mug of hot chocolate, and purchase some of the fantastic homemade chili offered at the concession stands because the start of the playoffs is just around the corner.
Buckle up for a wild ride. Heros will be born, dreams will come true and memories will be made for generations to come. The culmination of high school football season makes for some story book endings.
By: Tyler Zavadsky
Prep Reporter ESPN 1380
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