I attended Shawnee High School in Medford, NJ for my junior and senior years of high school. I played football both of those years, working my way up from the new kid on the block to junior varsity to varsity back-up to varsity starter and one of the best players on the team.
Every fall, I think back and reminisce on those days. There's a certain nostalgia this time of year, from the smell of cut grass that reminds me of two-a-days at the very end of summer to the crisp autumn air that reminds me of practices and game days throughout the rest of the season.
There are any number of things that I remember from that time, but at least a couple stand out:
First, the camaraderie of our team during my senior year was something special. We had a diversity of personalities on that team, and if it wasn't for the common cause of playing and winning football, I don't think a lot of us would have been friends or even gotten along otherwise. From a purely team standpoint, I haven't been on a better team since then, either sports-wise or professionally.
Second, on the individual level, I remember regularly making one-handed catches. For whatever reason or from whatever source, I was blessed with excellent hand-eye coordination, and even since early childhood I always had a good grip -- (I remember being in the schoolyard in 5th grade and not being afraid to play 'mercy' with a handful of boys who liked to beat all the other kids, though they couldn't beat me) -- those two things combined gave me the ability to make one-handed catches with ease. As a wide receiver, it goes without saying that I loved to catch the football one-handed. It was a lot of fun.
I could go on and on, but for brevity's sake, I'll stop here for now. I see that Shawnee plays Moorestown tonight. Here's hoping that my Renegades get the win!