Porter learned a hard lesson tonight. It made his mom's heart hurt in the process. He's been playing football on the Desert Hills 3/4 grade team this year. It's his first year of tackle football and he's loving it. LOVING it!! The hard part is that the team he is on has played together before...well at least most of the team. The coach told us up front that he doesn't go deep on quarterbacks and running backs and he plays to win. Porter is not the smallest on the team but he is one of the smaller boys. Good thing about that is he's fast and he works hard. Bad thing about that is he doesn't get to play as much as the other boys (the "team" that has already been playing with each other).
Last night was a BIG game. Desert Hills vs Dixie. Neither team has lost a game all season and both teams have blown all the other teams away in scoring. In fact, I don't think either team has had another team score on them. Shut outs. All of their games.
Porter went to the game knowing he wasn't going to get to play much but he was pumped and soooo ready to play! He really is a decent player for being so small. He can even get past our own line in practice because he's so fast.
The game started and both teams had a defensive battle on their hands. In fact, I don't think the ball moved past each other's 40 yard line through the first quarter. Watching the teams play I knew there was a good chance Porter wouldn't even get to play the first half. Desert Hills had met their match and it was a battle.
First half came and went and still no Porter on the field. He wasn't the only one that got left on the side line. There were about five boys that didn't get to touch the field past that white sideline. Halftime. No score by either team. Tough game for sure.
Second half started. Dixie made a touchdown during the third quarter but it got called back due to a holding call. (thank goodness!!) It wasn't until the end of the fourth quarter with about 5 minutes to go that Desert Hills scored a touch down. They missed the extra point because of a defensive stop by Dixie. The score was 6-0 and there was 1:30 on the clock. Still none of those five boys got to play. It was Dixie's 3rd down on Desert Hill's 40 yard line. I thought for sure that the coach would throw those boys in there on defense just so they could have a chance. Nothing. 52 seconds left in the game. Dixie had just thrown away their chance to score on their fourth down. 30 seconds left in the game. I thought for sure the coach would throw those boys in there again. Again, NOTHING. Our quarterback spiked the ball and the game was over. Desert Hills won 6-0 but it was a tough win because Porter didn't even get a chance to play. I knew how ready he was for this game. I knew he was ready to play tough. I hoped that the fact they won would make him happy. I was wrong.
When it was time to find their parents after their post game talk with their coaches Porter didn't even walk toward us. He was done. He was upset. He was ready to go home. He wouldn't talk to any of us (don't really blame him) and was headed right for the car. Julia wouldn't keep her mouth quiet about going to get ice cream because they won and everyone could feel tension about not wanting to hurt Porter's feelings any more than they already were.
I did find that my boys can really be good brothers. The only one more upset than Porter about the game was Payton. He was fuming mad that his brother didn't even get to go in on ONE PLAY! He was outraged!! ("It's against the rules! EVERYONE HAS to play at least one play!")
I told Jul's that it was up to Porter whether he wanted to get ice cream or not and he decided whatever would shut his sister up was fine with him. I know he was fighting back tears in the back seat so we didn't talk about football.
We got our treats at Arctic Circle, came home and ate them and then got ready for bed. By then Porter had cooled down long enough to at least talk. He said it sucked he didn't even get to play at all. His coach told the boys "If you didn't get to play tonight you will get to play more in the next game than the boys that did play tonight." I sure hope that's true. He said he kept asking his coach when they were going to let him into the game and they told him after they make 2 touchdowns. I don't agree with the way the coach did things mostly because I felt like he was running this team as a HS team instead of 3/4 graders. It was the same with the Dixie coach as well. He had about 7 boys sitting on his sideline that never got to play either. It's the way the world works though. Not everyone get
s to "play" when/where they want. Just wish Porter didn't have to suffer. Broke my heart. Of course I had to tell him how proud I was of him. He works hard at practice. He's there ready to play 100%. There have been days I've seen him come in for a water break and head right back out when the boys that get all the playing time are taking their own sweet time and goofing off making their team wait for them to get back into practice. Porter is a tough kid and when he hits his growth, he's going to be amazing. Just wish his coaches could see what I see. (Every mother probably says that about their boy)
The silver lining to this story is that TODAY is Porter's birthday. At least that gave him something to look forward to when we was feeling so down last night.