Red Rocks

Red Rocks

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lacrimae Rerum

State Championship game in Grand Forks Saturday afternoon. The wind is howling out of the west, Century puts the youngest team ever to appear in the tournament on the field (2 seniors, 3 juniors, 7 sophomores, and 4 freshmen) and play to a 1-1 tie after regulation.

In the first 10 minute overtime there weren't many chances to score and you could really see the fatigue setting in on both teams. They were almost 8 minutes in to the 2nd overtime and 2 minutes from a shootout when West Fargo put in the game winner. Our boys certainly felt bad - they knew they had had some opportunities they hadn't been able to take advantage of - but they kept there heads up and were good sports through all the celebrating and awards.

I was sad for the Seniors who had worked so hard and trusted all those young players to help get them a championship, but the underclassmen get another (or two, or three!) shots at it and will have incredible experience under their belts.

Coach Jahnke got this team to perform at an amazing level and helped them keep their heads even when they were under pressure. He can probably think of dozens of could have, should have, would have scenarios over the season, but you've got to play with the team and the players you have, and he sent several clear messages about expectations and consequences. I believe that all those young men are the better for the experience.

Human beings are driven to succeed. Our culture places great value on "winning," whatever the situation, but there are other great words to describe (in this case high school soccer) behaviors - Perseverence, Teamwork, Dedication, Trust, Fearlessness - that I think Hunter and his teammates brought to the pitch and took back home to their families last night.

2010 Patriots, congratulations on a fine season, this fan enjoyed the ride.

Friday, October 15, 2010


I just tried uploading a video of the play before the "choke." I'll see if it will take in a new post. If nothing else, here is a photo of Luke and Will each with their first goose.

Semifinal #1 2010 Boys State Soccer

Weirdest soccer game I've ever seen in my life. Century had one of the Captains - a central defender - the goalkeeper and the backup keeper all suspended for hazing one of the freshman players Friday night. Jon Rings, one of 4 seniors on the team, volunteered to go in to goal. He has not played keeper since he was a U15 summer soccer player. He did an admirable job and helped hold a huge Fargo North team to 2 goals. The fireworks started early when Jon's twin brother Jason got two yellow cards in the first half, as did a player from North. Two yellows are considered a "soft" red in high school so you have to leave this game and sit out the next - 2nd end of high school career of the day. North had a 1-0 lead late in the half when Century captain Tom Keller clears a ball to prevent the North player from getting to it. Most soccer fields in North Dakota have no bleachers so the (few) fans usually line up in lawn chairs 8 feet off the sideline. Keller rips the ball which hits an 80 year old woman square in the forehead and knocks her out. They work on her most of the halftime and she insists on staying, but left about 10 minutes into the 2nd, I hope to get checked at the hospital for a concussion. With the wind (30 mph from the south) in their favor, Century scored three goals in a 20 minute span. After the 3rd goal was scored by Tom Keller, he was walking from inside the goal back onto the field when the North Keeper grabbed him by the shoulders and tripped him over an out stretched leg. The biggest problem with that was that the Referee was standing about 10 feet away and saw the whole thing. He immediately pulls out the red card and sends off the Keeper. At this point North is down 3-1, playing with 10 men and into the wind. They persevered and managed to score one more when a Century defender took a bad touch in a ball in the box and set up a prefect shot for a North Player. For the rest of the game Century continued to push the ball upfield and kept pinning them back in their own zone. As time was winding down Tom Keller (again!) clears a ball 40 yards out of bounds with just seconds on the clock. as he turned to run up the sideline a North player grabbed him by the back of the neck and proceeded to attempt a choke hold. The Referee was not impressed. Another red card, another very embarrassing case of poor sportsmanship on the part of Fargo North, and probably lucky if charges aren't filed. On the other field, undefeated Shanley built a 1-0 lead with the wind. In the 2nd half West Fargo tied it, took the lead, and then Shanley tied it again. Finally West Fargo put in a winner to advance to the Championship game tomorrow at 3:00 against the ever younger Century team.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Patriots victorious in overtime.

First round of the State Tournament today up in Grand Forks. 60^ and a pretty good wind out of the north northwest. We got here in time to watch Bismarck high lose to West Fargo 2-1, and St. Mary's lose to Shanley 2-0.

In the second games of the day Minot lost to Fargo North 1-0 and that left Century as the last great hope out of the west region. Despite an early 1-0 lead and controlling the ball most of the game, we let one in at the 70:00 minute mark, and then couldn't score so to overtime we go. Again we controlled the ball and got the shots and finally put it away with about 30 seconds left in the first overtime.

The team looked good, lots of nice individual performances, Hunter played left defender for about 10-15 minutes in the first half and then played about 5 minutes in the 2nd half before he went up for a header and a GF Red River kid rammed him with a high elbow to his hip. He limped off and didn't return but he says he'll be ready to go tomorrow.

They will meet Fargo North in the one semifinal while Shanley takes on West Fargo for the other Championship slot.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

West Region Champions!

Today Mandan was the site of the West Region boys soccer tournament. Hunter and the Patriots got a bye to the Championship for finishing with the second best record at 7-1-2. Bismarck jumped out to a 1st half lead when 2 of the defenders tried to dribble a ball out of the box instead of passing it out.

CHS came back with a vengeance in the second half with a lot of pressure on the ball and really good possession. T.J. got the first goal on a nifty rebound, and Tom Keller scored the winner with a header that was almost a chip shot that sailed over Kessler's head and in.

This picture is of the BHS and CHS coaches before the game- needless to say- the rivalry on the feild is far grittier than it is between the coaching boxes.