The St Joe's Celtics returned to the scene of the crime last friday for the first time since stealing a victory away from the Oscars in last years play offs. The Oscars had already dealt the Celtics a big loss earlier this year when we went down to a very hostile enviroment in Grande Prairie where emotions were high. After handling them with relative ease in front of their own crowd our players concluded it would be much the same when they came here. The week of practice leading up to the rematch was sloppy and poorly attended. Not wanting our home fans to witness some of the more embarrassing moments from the previous game, we worked alot on not relatiating. Unfortunately this took all the urgency and emotion out of our players. Without motivation, most players were looking past St Joes, to the first place undefeated Peace Wapiti Titans.
The problems started when St Joes showed up about 2 1/2 hours before game time when the Oscars were still in class. Which is strange because they only showed up 25 minutes before game time when they hosted us a few weeks before. The word spread through classrooms and the players were on edge, which made for an uncomfortable situation for the teachers, who want to support their students but also want to keep order in their class. When the players were finally let out of class, St Joes were dressed and running plays in the gym, so we rushed to get dressed and were done our warm ups well more than an hour before the game. Having rushed our routine after a bad week of practice and having no real motivation, we didn't appaer to be in right frame of mind to execute the game plan.
The first drive seemed to be going according to plan when a fumble derailed us. The next series ended in a fumble also. At this point before the first quarter was up it was apparent that there was a complete roll reversal from the pervious game. We were slow and unemotional. Blocking didn't look like a priority which made running the ball slow and painful and tackling looked more like 2 cousins having to hug after grandma told them to. To help strike fear and light a fire under some of our starters we replaced them with new players eager to get a chance. With all our mistakes and back ups on the field the best they could do was a 14-0 half time lead. We felt lucky and optomistic because with the mistakes we made and the number of times we put the ball on the ground, the score should have been alot more. At the half we tried to make some adjustments that we thought would work but its not how much the coach knows, its what the coach can get across and it wasn't long into the third quarter that it was apparent, not much stuck. It was frustrating sitting on the sidelines knowing what they were going to do and see our players out of position. We had no football smarts today, no anticipation, part of our philosophy is to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves, but today we simply looked at every opportunity as if we were passengers on a bus going by. Some of the things missed today by our players will bug them for along time to come. Hopefully we can get some emotion back and not let the season slip away.
Shoulda, coulda, woulda is not a montra teens should be familiar with yet.