It had been a long time since I’d seen a Newell-Fonda sporting event.
In fact, I’m not sure I’ve seen my alma mater since I graduated in 2003.
I seem to think I saw them once the year after I graduated. The Mustangs were back at state, and it seems like a few of my college friends and I went down to see them. That was nearly eight years ago, so my memory is a little foggy.
So, for at least eight years, I hadn’t seen the high school team I proudly called home for so many years.
Fast forward to Tuesday night. The Mustangs were facing off against undefeated Harris-Lake Park in a district playoff game.
For the past few weeks, I had been coaching my youth basketball team. Well, Tuesday night was practice night. Now our season is completed; I have to give another shout out to my team who peaked at just the right time to finish second, due in part, (or so he claims) to my assistant coach Ryan Seykora. So, my Tuesday nights are pretty wide open.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I was going to sit home and watch TV. Instead, I jumped in my car (literally jumped because my car was surrounded by a patch of ice) and took off to the great state of Iowa.
I was surprised how many people I recognized. I ended up sitting by the football coach, Brian Wilken, who was one of the first coaches I covered in my journalism career. I’ve always felt a little bad, he didn’t get my best work. I went back and read some of the article I wrote when I first started out. Needless to say, they were horrible. But, I guess that’s what experience and four years of college will do for you.
Anyway, I found a seat and waited for the game to start. The first quarter was pretty awful. The Mustangs weren’t quite the offensive juggernaut I remembered. After eight minutes, H-LP led 6-2.
The second quarter had a little more scoring, but the Wolves were still ahead 23-9.
N-F scored 10 points in the third quarter, but trailed 33-19 heading into the final quarter.
Then, the trademark Mustangs started to show up. They were pressing, they were running and they were scoring.
At one point, the Wolves’ lead was down to four points, 34-30. That was as close as it would get as H-LP won 40-34.
I was disappointed I didn’t get to see a ‘W’ out of my old team. But I’m glad I decided to go.
It was much better than sitting at home.