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The best time of the year

Powder Puff 2012 #42

I went to a junior college football practice the other day. It was what I expected: humble and routine. What I didn't expect was to be transported to my childhood.

The team was blue and gold, and their mascot was a bulldog. Just like my old high school team.

For a moment I wasn't on a bench on the Central Coast of California, I was in the Willamette Valley sitting on grass, yellow from the summer heat. I was watching the West Albany football teams from when I was in middle school. Those teams went to three straight State Championship games and won two in a row. The teams were flooded with Division I talent (Seven players went on to play D-I football, maybe more).

But my connection to Bulldog Football goes back to when I was in elementary school. My dad coached football at the high school, and I would go with him everywhere. I started watching practices and games from the sidelines. I would travel on the bus and sit in front with all of the coaches. I was the team little sister. Eventually, I was old enough to have some responsibility. My official title could have been Video Coordinator, but I was 12, so I didn't get a title. I video taped all of the freshman and a few varsity football games.

I used to get so excited for football season. At the end of every August, my summer vacation ended and I would leave my mom in Colorado to go back to school. Football - and seeing my dad - was the only thing I was excited to come back to. I had to leave my mom, but at least there was football.

Sitting on the sideline of this JUCO practice reminded me why this is my favorite time of year. Baseball is approaching, with pennant races and the playoffs, and the new football season brings a fresh start for every team. Anything can happen.

Oh, and go Bulldogs.

*The photo is from the 2012 Powder Puff game my senior year. I played nose tackle. We won.

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