What would make 50+ men run around in 106 degree weather? The love of football.
This past weekend Chatsworth High hosted its first annual Alumni Football Game. Players from all different years gathered onto the Chatsworth High football field, many from recent years and even a few from the 1979 L.A. City AAA Championship team (undefeated and untied).
The two hour tournament started at three with people showing up some wearing their old jerseys. After some brief meet and greet we started picking teams mostly picking from players they have played with before. You felt like a kid again waiting to be picked and seeing who your teammates would be. Once the flags were handed out is when you really started to feel the excitement.
After a short water break and one game under our belt the first round winning teams played each other. All the same feelings one use to get came back. A championship game? With the teams of 11 on 11 the CHS staff turned on the score board. It didn't take long before we were setting up plays, remembering your old position and your duties. We would rotate the starting defense and the starting offense. Cheering your team on from the side lines and giving one another complement on the previous play. You played like you had never missed a day as if it was second nature. The line stayed low when rushing, the backers motioned, and the corners played man.
With the siren from the scoreboard going off we knew we had played a great game. The last minute touchdown put us ahead to win 20 to 8 (we could have used a kicker) but I think the score really didn't matter as much as the sheer joy of playing again. With few fans in the stands or triple digit weather or even sore muscles we never cared. We played for the love of the game and the memories of our glory days. You forget how the simplest things mean so much. Drinking water from a Gatorade sports bottle, taking a knee in front of your coach and hearing the whistle blowing. Not only did we leave that day with new pains or new tan lines but we left with new memories to add. After the game we went to Casa de Carlos for some CHS support and stories (one including an interception of John Elway.)
Thank you to the CHS Football staff. Please help donate to the teams of today and tomorrow. See you alumni next year.