Clipboard Stories

Dragon Football Stories

Tales from the Clipboard


From Cal Barton

I'd like to relate a football story. Everyone who played football at NHS during my short career will remember that I was a very "marginal" football player. I spent my years firmly entrenched as a member of the "scrubs", and my love for the game kept me at it probably longer than reason would have otherwise dictated. I would also like to say before I go on that the hardest hitter from our class pound for pound was Garry Moynihan. Garry went full tilt every play. It is a good thing he was not 6 foot 4 and 280 pounds - many of us would still be in rehab!

Anyway, at the beginning of my junior year I was finally going to get to practice with the varsity and I was very excited about that. As a scrub on defense it was my job to be a part of the unit that practiced against the first team offense. Little did I know that the reason for this is because the coaches did not want their good defensive players getting hurt!

On the first day of practice - my first play on defense - I was determined to cover my assignment and make my play. I was at defensive end and I was supposed to cover the running back on an end run, so I stepped across the line and concentrated on the running back coming in my direction, intent on making a good play .... the next thing I remember is being run over by a freight train, or so I thought. Otis Norris had pulled from his left guard position to lead the play and he hit me so hard that I thought I was dying. Coach Ronnie Collum was standing over me screaming at me to get up and I was laying there waiting for the ambulance! I felt like every internal organ I owned had just exploded. I never saw the guy coming at me!

I finally struggled to my feet, with tears in my eyes and lined up again. Next play Kim Hogan did almost the same thing to me. I thought if I was going to have to go through that every 30 seconds I wasn't gonna last very long.

Needless to say my football career went seriously downhill from that moment. I figured I better listen a little better in math class because this certainly wasn't my future. I did, however, develop a true and lasting respect for all the guys who played the game so well and gave us all those thrills on Friday evenings.