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The miracle against Homestead
By DYLAN MALONE
I had the rare opportunity to see history first hand on Friday night.
It doesn’t happen to me often. Usually I’m looking the other way when something amazing happens. In a related story, I never get to see a reckless driver get their come-up-ans from local authorities...
Anyways, the point is that I’m usually in the wrong place at the wrong time, but not Friday night when the Braves did the unlikely in putting a ‘W’ on the board against mighty Homestead.
Some of you may look at that and say, “Yeah? So what?”
To those people I say shame on you. Are you not moved by a real life David vs. Goliath story?
The second smallest school in the conference beat the far-and-away largest on Friday night and they did it with class, talent, and a lot of fire in their guts.
It would have been easy for a team clearly outmanned, outnumbered, and out-muscled to play scared, particularly in the rainy conditions brought forth on Friday night.
That brings me to my next point. I’m tired already of hearing people say things like, “Yeah, it was a great win, but they would have been killed if it wasn’t wet on the field.”
Did the Braves have special ski-shoes on their feet that allowed them to skate across the field without sliding? Were they immune to the misty downpour seeping into their face masks blurring their vision all night? I didn’t think so.
Bellmont played on the same playing field in the same conditions as Homestead and came away with a big victory.
One could make the argument that Homestead’s passing game was hampered by the weather and that their game plan was disrupted because of it. Truth be told, the Spartans had enough men on the sidelines to replenish their front line all game long and Bellmont, with plenty of players playing both ways, held them at bay and forced the line back all night long.
The Spartans managed just 47 yards on the ground. That is abysmal. Harnish tallied twice that on his own the week before and Norwell is the smallest school in the conference.
It may even have been a fluke that the Braves one in an instance where they played their best football and Homestead played their worst. It’s still one of the greatest accomplishments that Bellmont has ever experienced and that’s taking into account 2008 when we hoisted a state title.
Personally, I think it was a wake-up call to Homestead for years to come. It was obvious they hadn’t even taken the time to scout us. They jumped off-sides several times in the first quarter when Amacker and Braves moved their line formations because they didn’t see it coming.
For Bellmont, it will be the beginning of a new found confidence. We don’t have to beat 6A teams in sectional. Just 3A schools. “Now we know we can hang with the best of them,” as Dalton Schultz said Friday night.
What about Bob?
I wanted to save some space to talk about Bob Shraluka for minute because I think he’s earned a lot of respect from me.
Sure, I may not have worked with him as long as some of the other compatriots with me in the editorial department, but I did spend the final few years with him and I have to say that the pleasure was all mine.
Bob and I did not get along when I started as the sports editor a few years ago. It seemed like our personalities were at odds for the longest time.
After a time, however, I figured out that it’s because our personalities are very similar. If there’s just one thing that I have learned from both Bob and Jim Hopkins it’s that there will always be people that don’t like what you do for whatever reason. Rather than dwell on it, I like to think that I could take Bob’s approach and just laugh it off.
In this recent game of musical chairs, as J put it, I find myself staying stationary as everyone else in editorial is circling around me. I guess that makes me the chair.
Whatever my position, I like to think that I’m better at it than when I started and Mr. Shraluka is one of the big reasons for that. Thanks, Bob. Enjoy the bike rides still to come.