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Wildcats Win Home Opener – B. Baltzell

Last night, Ben & the Willow Canyon Wildcats played in their first “official” high school football game.  It was the home opener against their school rivals, the Valley Vista Monsoon.

It’s been a very long time since I have been to a high school football game.  I went to a very large, prominent high school in Denver, and I remember how big a deal football games were…at least on a varsity level.  Last night, it was quite a different experience.  Our freshmen are afforded many of the same amenities that the JV and Varsity teams receive.  Prior to practice, the booster club fed the kids a dinner from one of the area restaurants.  The game was played under the lights in the main stadium, with a lighted scoreboard, announcers, programs, cheerleaders and a full set of bleachers on both sides.

We weren’t sure if Ben would play much, but he had the opportunity to be rotated in several times.  I’m thrilled to say that he did really well.  It’s pretty great to see your kid some out after making a big play and get thumped on the shoulder pads by his teammates and have his helmet patted by the coach.  It’s even better to watch as your kid goes from one end of the sideline to the other, saying something to each & every teammate, pumping them up.

The photo above was taken after the game.  The Wildcats won, 20 – 8.  After the ritual of lining up at the fifty yard line & shaking hands with the other team, our boys all gathered on our sideline.  Suddenly, they broke into the Willow Canyon Wildcats fight song.  The grins on their faces were not quite as big as those of the parents watching.

You can see Ben & part of his jersey.  He’s right behind numbers 15 and 21…you can see the 3 of his 63.


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