SIDELINE OBSERVATIONS: Celebrating the team concept

Published: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 05:28 PM.

I get a little nostalgic at the end of every high school football season. Scenes of a season ending bring a flood of memories from my final days as a Gulf Breeze Dolphin 38 years ago.

For all the fanfare and hoopla surrounding Senior Night and one last game at the home stadium, the deepest emotions are wrapped up in the concept of team.

Anybody who ever played a high school or college sport understands those emotions.

I won't pretend football teammates share deeper bonds than volleyball or baseball teammates. I will suggest that those bonds are different simply due to the physical requirements of football and the nature of the game. They instill a certain reliance on each other, along with a trust and accountability that might not be found in other sports.

 Baker running back D.J. Thomas has had a special senior season, but he'll be the first to tell you he couldn't have put up his big numbers without the blocking of a strong offensive line and a fullback willing to lead the way.

Great linebackers often make a staggering number of tackles, but those tackles aren't made without defensive linemen willing to engage the offensive line and keep them from the linebackers.

A team's Friday night game plan can only be executed as well as it was practiced that week. Often, the guys running the scout team seldom or never hear their name called over the public address system on Friday night.

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