Damien Holmes writes about a day in the life as a coach for a semi-pro team, the Utah State Unique
It was a chilling Saturday morning with a partly clouded sky; rain began to drizzle down on the football field just before kickoff.
Last weekend the Utah State Unique (which is a Semi-Pro team) suffered a minor loss to an opposing team for fourth seat in the playoffs. This early morning the players of the Unique knew they had to win today in order to gain fifth seat in the round of the playoffs. You can feel the tension in the air as the player were warming up during drills.
“I feel a win today coach,” said one player.
A meeting of the minds began off the side of the field. All the coaching staff huddled together as they were starting the game on offense.
“Hey coach look! They are not even warming up!” one of the captains said. “They must think they are going to get an easy win today!”
If the Utah State Unique pulls off the win today. They get the first round bye (first week off) with time to practice and focus on the next game. The Unique hit the field first on offense like hungry kids to a dinner bell. Without going into an offensive huddle The Unique drove the ball down field for their first score on a one minute 50 yard drive to the opponent’s end zone for a touchdown. The team became electrified after scoring the extra point.
“All that practice and film did a lot of work this week coach. The players are starting to come along.” The head coach muttered.
Soon after, the opposing team scored right back with the same quickness. Tempers started to flare as players argued with each other as well as coaches. One little mistake on defense and the opposing team made the Unique pay for three touch downs after.
The second half came with a vengeance. The Unique started on defense and began to take back what was rightfully theirs. “THE BALL”! They needed to get the ball back and keep it this time. With two interceptions in the third quarter, the Utah State Unique began their campaign of attack against the would be foes who would keep them from entering the playoffs.
By the fourth quarter the Unique had come from behind to tie up the score 12-12. It was still not over. The opposing team had the ball with 1:30 left in the game and was driving the Unique back to their own end zone. The opposing team’s offense pressed hard but gave up an interception. At this time there was no holding back. This was it. The offense either had to go hard or go home. In the last thirty seconds of the game the Unique offense drove the ball back down the field for a deep pass to a receiver in the end zone which pulled the Utah State Unique ahead by a touchdown. With an extra point scored right after the team was able to pull off a win and advance on to the first round of the playoffs.
“Man this was the most exciting game I have ever been a part of outside of high school. I’m exhausted and I was coaching.” I said.
Next week, we will see the Utah State Unique uphold its word by climbing above each win to the championship game.