Dear Daily Herald,
Before Friday night I had never been to the town of Sidman before nor had I ever seen Forest Hills play a football game. I made the trip to show support for the Tyrone Eagles and to see a good football game and a good game it was.
One thing that bothered me greatly however that I never really thought of too much until the game was over was the deplorable field conditions that the game was played on.
We played in a lot of rain games this year but I don’t think any of them were quite as muddy as that was. I parked my car across from the Forest Hills High School and that was the first thing I noticed when going back to my car. All the grass in front of the school and the grass all around the school was completely dry. I mean that not even the tips of my boots were wet at all as I walked through the grass out front.
I wondered to myself as I was leaving, “How could a playing field be in such deplorable condition on a night when a much bigger and straight ahead running Forest Hills team was about to face a smaller but much quicker Tyrone Eagles team who rely more heavily on team skills,quickness and the mobility of their ellusive quarterback”.
I could see even before the opening kickoff that the mud was so thick that players and ref`s actually sank in mud to their ankles in some places. The sidelines on the visitors side was so bad that the Tyrone cheerleaders couldn’t even find a place to cheer from.
Another thing that I noticed about the visitors side was that there were no benches for the players or at least I didn`t see any. I know that most players don’t sit on the benches anyway but benches are always available and used for equipment and in cases of injuries.
It’s just sad to me that such a big game had to be played under such lousy field conditions. I`m not saying that one team or another would have won the game had it been played on this field or that. That`s something that we’ll never know for sure and both teams are very good.
We do know however that “good big” can run better in thick mud than “good little”.
Who knows though, maybe there was a lot of rain in Sidman early Friday while the sun was shinning here in our towns, and maybe it only rained in the back of the school and not in front of it. I just wanted to say to Kerry Naylor who covered the game for the Daily Herald saying that “the well just went dry”, “I think I may have a good idea where all the water may have gone”.
Dear Sports Editor,
I wanted to write and Congratulate the 2002-2003 football team on an OUTSTANDING season! I saw several of the senior members of the team several times throughout summer practices. I witnessed firsthand the sorrow in each and every face of losing their teammate and my son, Randy Estright Jr.
What these boys went through emotionally no one can imagine. Just walking on the field for practice was a huge task for most of these players. I know what an important part of the team Randy was for them. They were grieving not only for Randy but his father and I as well. They were there for us from the beginning of this tragedy all the way through the season. As a result of their love and emotional support I watched several team members become men through the course of the summer.
They played every game with more heart and emotion than any team out there. This team became united as one and there was no I out on that field.
They set their goals high by dedicating the season to my son. That was a huge undertaking for such a young team. But, as the season progressed I watched the seniors pull the team together and witnessed underclassmen working extra hard to help the seniors accomplish their goals. Nobody out there realizes the true accomplishments that this team made. Just spending time with them this season made me proud of each and everyone of them and they have no idea how proud I am of the way they honored my son’s memory by making him a part of the team at each and every game.
They may not have advanced as far as they wanted to, but they became a team that no one should ever forget. Playing through adversity and becoming the first team to actually play as ONE on the field, my heart bursts with pride at the thought of them. They won’t be getting trophies or plaques or a chance to advance any further this year. But to me, they are TRUE CHAMPIONS. It takes alot of heart to become a champion-even with most of their’s broken they far exceeded their goals.
Thank you for giving me and my family the chance to share our son’s senior year with an exceptionally talented and giving football team. I can’t express in words alone how proud Randy would be of each and every one of you! 43 will never be forgotten thanks to all of you…. CONGRATULATIONS-YOU MADE US PROUD TO BE AN EAGLE!!!
Rita DeCarlo & Family
Dear Daily Herald,