Half a Notion

by Midge Houghtaling

Yesterday, July 9th, 2011, marked the Second Annual Alumni Football Game in Port Allegany, PA.  Several weeks ago, when my son (Ray Morales) told us that he would be joining the Coudersport Falcon Alumni team we marked the date on our calendar.  My husband and I think that alumni football is a great idea and we were looking forward to the game.  July 9th finally arrived.  My husband suited up in his recently purchased alumni t-shirt and I wore one of Ray’s old football jerseys.

I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to sports, but I’ve always enjoyed watching, when I have a kid in the game.  Since our youngest boy just turned twenty-nine, it’s been a few years since I’ve been to a high school football game.  But, I still remember how it feels to see one of my boys running down the field with the football tucked under his arm and I still remember hearing Ed Easton’s voice booming over the intercom, “That was #45… Ray Morales, on the tackle.”  I am not extremely knowledgeable about sports, but I do understand some things and back in the day– there were some great moments.

Yesterday was an opportunity to re-live some of those moments.  It was also an opportunity to support local charities (proceeds were split between charities in Port Allegany and Coudersport), and it was an opportunity to see old friends and watch my ten-year old grand-daughter, Keelin, cheering for her dad’s team.

Ray kept the same number that he had in high school, but since everyone apparently kept their same number, there were some duplicate numbers on the field.  It was a little confusing, but not terribly, since everyone had their last name printed on the jersey, as well.  Ray and Jerrod Renko both wore #10 on their helmets in memory of their classmate, Patrick Ryan.

Coudersport scored the first touchdown in the first quarter of the game and also in the first quarter I heard the announcer say, “… Ray Morales on the take down.”  It was a great beginning, but ultimately Coudy lost 47 – 6.

Still– Coudersport fans cheered as the purple jerseys came off the field.  I spotted my son and waved.  Unlike high school, he walked over to us.  I couldn’t help but notice he was smiling.  I used to tell him that winning wasn’t everything and I think, maybe… he actually believes it now.

To me they are all heroes– Falcons and Gators, alike.  They are heroes because they practiced long, played their best and kept a good attitude.  They are heroes because they helped local charities.  They are heroes simply because they got in the game.  Yesterday, I think, everyone won.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    next yr purple u can get within 3 tds lol

  2. Ken Morales says:

    Here in Florida sports fans pride themselves on being a great football state. 3 NFL teams, 3 Arena Football teams, now 6 competitive College Football programs, and some of the best high school football teams in the country. As I spreaded word of this game through Florida no one I talked to had never heard of such a thing. They thought that it would be like two hand touch or flag. I said “no it’s TACKLE with pads!” The fact that most peoples reaction was disbelief had me a little concerned for my brother and the other players that would be on the field. I was told that there was no serious injuries to either side from Saturdays game which in itself is a huge win! Congrats to everyone who played in the game. Your either very brave or incredibly stupid but this may spark a possible comeback for me! I still waiting on a call from Simcoe.

  3. Amber Kline says:

    I know what you mean, Ken…I am also in Florida where football is just as important of a sport as it is in Texas. If there’s one thing Floridians are passionate about, it’s their football teams. Everything is tied to whether you are a Seminole or Gator fan! I tried explaining the concept to a friend of mine that is an FSU alum. (Maybe that’s what the problem was…he was a Seminole and not a Gator?) He just couldn’t comprehend why someone would be willing to go all out for a reunion game for High School football. Especially when many players haven’t stepped on the field in over a decade. I’m very glad to hear that there weren’t any major injuries and I hope that this becomes a tradition that benefits area charities for years to come!

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