Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reflections! 12/31/09

I sit here and reflect on what has just happened over the last 6 months. I have been on one of the wildest rides of my life and I got to continue my passion for college football through his eyes! We knew that Matt was very self driven and passionate about achieving his first year goals, but I had no idea he would achieve them the way he did. I am so proud of his work ethic and dedication to his team. I know Matt will work even harder in the off season and will get bigger and stronger. Mental toughness and the desire to perfect his craft will keep Matt grounded and focused on the teams goals as well as his personal goals. One of my all time favorite business quotes is what Matt is doing in his football career and what I want to do in my business career! “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson My reflections will be highlights on the good, the bad, the ugly and the many people that we are so thankful for. Before I begin I have to thank Chris Boniol, Matt Stover and Josh Scobee for their support and constant communication with Matt. Matt's stats for the season were quite impressive in my mind for a true freshman swimming in shark infested waters. Matt ended the season 12 of 16 for field goals with only one miss less than 50 yards and he was 42 of 43 on PAT's. He was the leading scorer on the team with 78 points. His kickoff average of 57 yards is a little misleading when you play a hit the numbers game and you have some that go out of bounds. I am not a fan of this type of kicking, but what do I know! I am just a College Football Dad and a Travel Specialist! I think that there are situations where a pooch kick is the right thing to do, but not as a common theme. I hope CD and CT work on kicking it deep during the off season and CH works on maximizing his leg muscle. I went back and looked at all of Matt's kicks and not one kick was completely blocked the entire season. There were a couple of balls that got tipped, but still went through the up rights. I think special props needs to be given to the special teams O-line and the trust and timing with Thomas, Cade and Matt. That is an awesome stat that most people do not look at. I want to take time to thank those who have made an impact on me during my first season as a Bulldog. I have to start with my wife for her strength and courage during the season along with my oldest son for his extreme support for his younger brother. I want to give a very special thanks to Thomas Graham for taking Matt under is wings and being the most ultimate mentor for Matt that we could have ever asked for. I have to thank all of our immediate family, close friends and friends of family for traveling many thousands of miles in support of Matt and the Bulldogs both home and away. I have met or had email communication with so many awesome people during my freshman year. (Tom Morris, Philip Parker, Dusty McGehee, Rusty Anding, Adam McGuirt, Ross Harper, Don Garland, the La Tech Football staff and Ross aka Marketdawg) I thank you for all of your support and welcoming us to the Bulldog family. I have to thank Jonathan Ford and the BleedTechBlue Radio team. Fantasy Cruise & Travel was a sponsor this year and I will do it again next year. I also have to thank Matt’s original roommates; Josh (Summer Camp), Doak, Matt and Vince. These young men will be very successful at La Tech and they are just good people. Last but not least I have to thank Dan “The Equipment Man” Matthiesen. Dan and Matt are currently roommates and they keep each other in check. Dan is an awesome person and will keep Matt in line! I am not sure if this should be the Nelly Awards or just reflections of the season, but here we go. I am going to start with the ugly. The ugly for the season were the kickoffs that went out of bounds and the missed 38 yard field goal at Nevada. Directional kicking to a number on opposite sides of the field will cause balls to go places they should not when you do not warm up this way. I hope we can kick the ball deep next year and yes I understand that the coverage team was banged up this year and the return personnel will determine where CD wants the ball kicked, but kick it deep! The bad for the season for me was the missed PAT at the Idaho game, the missed 58 yard field goal at the Hawaii game and the missed 52 yarder against San Jose St. Matt had missed one PAT during his high school career and now one for his college career. I feel like Matt will make several 50 plus yarder's during his college career, but I thought 58 yards might of been a stretch this early in his career. With this being said I am a huge fan of CD and how he not only coaches, but he teaches life’s lessons. How these young men react to adverse situations will help them be prepared for what life throws at them. Now for the good! The 46 yard field goal in his first college game at Auburn, the 3 field goals against LSU, the surprise on sides kick that he recovered against Boise St and his only tackle in the San Jose State game. I will also include the missed 56 yard field goal against Idaho. I was very proud of the effort in this game winning kick that had the distance, but missed to the left. It was not about the miss, but that with the game on the line that good contact was made and it had a chance! The other made field goals and PAT's were all awesome in how they were made, but this is what his craft is and should be made to ensure your starting position and a possible future career. I saved the Double Drawer’s Award for Mr. Tom Morris for taking pictures of the away games that I did not attend. I got to watch these games on TV or listened over the internet. This was one of the hardest things mentally I have ever gone through and thank goodness that I had extra pairs of drawers! I am looking for care packages for next year! Seriously a very special thanks to Tom Morris for letting me use some of his pictures for my blog for the away games I did not attend. Even though the team did not have a winning season this year they were in all of the games during the second half of the season. La Tech would end up at 4 - 8 for the season. With the playing time of so many freshmen and more home games I feel like the 2010 season will be a winning one and the Bulldogs will be bowling again. It has been a blast for me this season to take my thoughts and share my passion through him. I appreciate all of those who have followed my journey. I write from my heart and what my feelings are at that moment. I will continue to write about Matt and the football process up to when spring practice starts on a limited basis. May your New Year be filled with Sunny Smiles, Sandy Dreams and Travel your Way! Until our paths cross again, have a blessed New Year! College Football Dad!