COVID did not stop this season

jhawk1000

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643
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Kansas
Real Name
Mel
For years, my wife and I have photographed a high school team locally in Football. We used to do the entire city league in basketball and football but the local media found that high school sports was a big item and they started covering the basketball more and quite frankly, most were pains in the rear in getting in front of us, staking out their area and making it hard for us who were doing it for the city league to function as well as before. At our high school now, we are protected by the athletic director, the coaches, and even by the head of the league. We have gone with them to the State tournament for the past two years and have experienced joy and heartbreak. Some of the kids are like ours now and we were anguished when one of our favorites who had to hug my wife every game and fist-bumped me was killed in a senseless attempt to rob him. These kids were overwhelmed at first when the Board of Education told them there would be no season.

The kids kept practicing and last Monday, the Board reversed its decision because our COVID numbers were looking good. The kids can play but with no spectators, the band must play only at half time with distancing and the cheer squad can not be on the field. We are honored that we are considered necessary people to the organization and will be on the sidelines with masks photographing the kids. We went to the school on Saturday to photograph the team assembled together and my wife took well over 200 shots of the individual players including the varsity and the freshmen. She is working on the images now and from what I see, they are spectacular. Mine were just shot to chronicle the event.

Here are some pictures of the young men awaiting their turns for team photos, for individual photos, and of my wife from the catwalk above the basketball court where the team photos were shot. We go to the school tomorrow to take a picture of the football field so she can replace the gym floor with the artificial turf thanks to photoshop. She had a bunch of the team protecting her from anyone getting too close to her since she had to work sometimes without mask.

Next Saturday at 1:00 pm their season starts and we will be there again for another one. Temperature is estimated to be a nice 79 degrees F at kick-off.

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jhawk1000

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Jun 30, 2013
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643
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Kansas
Real Name
Mel
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Yesterday was our team's first game. They were leading the team in mid-town 43-0 at halftime and coasted to a 53-7 win where the 2nd half was played with a running clock. I generally take photos showing the kids since they love them and we always post to the team Facebook page. 111 for me and 265 for my wife. She does more of the action photography since her reflexes are better and she did this in the past when she was with the newspaper. The kids know us and we have been a fixture for years.

There were no fans, no parents, just the kids from both teams, the coaches, officials, home band which had to stay in the stands, and cheer squad who had to stay on the track away from the others and then there were us, one TV station, and the student photographers.

The kids are showing a sign with their hands. It is 4 fingers which are a sign to honor #4 of last year who was killed in a senseless shooting while home from college where he was on scholarship but was home because of COVID. He was our friend and he was a very special young man. The last picture in this series is an excellent football player on defense. He has many scholarship offers and he was suffering treatment after getting cut by the cleats on his teammate who stepped on his ankle. He was grimacing in pain until he saw the camera pointed at him and he gave me the sign and tried to look normal. After I took the picture, I joked with him that a picture made the hurt stop.
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jhawk1000

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jun 30, 2013
Messages
643
Location
Kansas
Real Name
Mel
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An update on this special team. They ended their conference undefeated with garish scores of 92-0, 63-0, 73-0, and so on. They enter the district playoff ranked #1 and will play at home for the rest of their season unless they make the final of the State and then we go to a town 150 miles away on 11/28 for the championship. They have finished #2 in the State the last two years and want that crown badly.
The evening games are challenging since they start at 7:00 pm and are under the lights. We generally shoot the Olympus EM 1 and EM 1 ii at ISOs of 4000 upward and we have been so pleased with the results even up to 25,600 for posting on their website. I try to stay under 6400. I shoot with the old 50-200mm 2.8/3.5 and the wife uses the EM 1 ii with 40-150 2.8 with 1.4X.
These pictures are all from the EM 1 with the 50-200mm 2.8/3.5 adapted 4/3 lens.

The first picture shows #90 who just accepted a scholarship from West Point. He is a beast on defense.

Picture #2 is of a running back, #3, who sometimes takes the direct snap and operates as quarterback handing off to one of the fastest kids on the team. Both players are threats to score anytime they get the ball.

Picture #3 is a scene showing safety for Northwest as they tackled the South Quarterback in his own endzone.

Final shot is of the real quarterback #16 handing off to a very young running back #12 who took off for another touchdown.

This game was a 63-0 shutout with NW leading at half time 43-0.

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