The Best Time Was...

 

Bishop Turner Football - It was 1979; I was a Senior in High School; and I was lucky if I weighed 140 pounds. I had no business being on a Varsity Football team. But, I was determined to join extra-curricular activities because my 90% or better grade average was not enough to get me elected into the Honor Society - the reason given was my lack of participating in after-school activities. My Junior year I went out for the baseball team. I got cut; but I ended up being the team manager (score keeper). The coach told me to try again next year (and I did). But, first came football season. We had a new coach that year, Bob Muscato. Ray Karney had been coaching the Turner Trojans for as long as I could remember. He also would have cut me on the spot. But the new coach had a policy of not cutting anybody who tried out. I went to the weight room over the summer, I made every practice, I attended every game. I think I got to play a total of 12 plays - all on kickoffs. Our team was pitiful. I think it was the first game at Schiller Park when the cross bar for the goal posts hit Coach in the head when dismantling it after the game. He ended up with stitches and our team played like a wounded bunch the whole year. We could not even run the "sleeper play" successfully - we had 10 men in the huddle with the 11th man on the sideline ready to catch a pass. We ran it against St. Mary's but it was called back on a clipping penalty. However, St. Mary's was our one victory that year. Although we were pitiful, we practiced and we played. I took a beating at the practices. Coach was yelling at Tom Sonier about something; Tom took it out on me by jumping offsides and tackling me in the process. In one drill I actually had to pick up the ball and get by the biggest guy on the team - Melroy Butler. He weighed at least 300 pounds. When he got hold of me, he lifted me on his shoulder and slammed me to the ground. A lot of kids at school mocked me out for even trying out for the team. But I was proud of the fact that I stuck it out for the whole year. And one of the best moments for me was when I was able to lap Melroy Butler while doing our 4 laps around the practice field. Sure Melroy was the biggest kid on the team; but I think I was the only one to lap him. That was the best time!




Back to The Best Time Was...

JAK - 2003