Saturday, November 28, 2009

First Team, Thanksgiving and Playoff Game

We got an additional great piece of information the week before Thanksgiving.
Trevor is an OVC All Conference First Team Selection. For those not familiar with college football, there on nine teams that belong to the Ohio Valley Conference. To be awarded a first team All Conference selection means that if they were to put the best player in each position from among all the teams, you would be on that team. Trevor plays defensive tackle. Since two defensive tackles are on the field at one time, 2 DT's are selected and Trev got one of those 2 spots.
Coach Spoo, Trev and 3 other EIU players earned top conference honors. This article reported Tuesday's league announcements.
Knowing that we had a big holiday weekend ahead, Ken and I enjoyed some downtime early in the week.

Ken and Sox do a good job of using each other as pillows while napping before the TV!

Since Kyle is now the Freshmen Basketball Coach for the Piasa Birds, his free time over the Thanksgiving holiday was very limited. We were able to squeeze in Thanksgiving breakfast with he and Jenni before they headed off to Jenni's grandma's for Thanksgiving dinner.

They brought grandpuppy Staley along. Ditka and Sox we very poor hosts not at all happy having a big frisky puppy wanted to wrestle and play. That meant we had to keep the dogs separated since we don't wan't Staley to consider other dogs as a threat.

Staley was so excited to have other dogs to play with and didn't understand their snotty attitude. I think Ditka might warm up to her if he wasn't so worried about protecting his turf and Sox from this 4 month old intruder.

When Sox and Ditka were put out in the backyard, Staley kept watch at the door hoping we would bring them back in. For being a 'mut' I think she has beautiful markings and stance!

Finally she gave up on her new playmates and decided to be content with getting to know their squeak toys instead.

When Kyle, Jenni and Staley left, Ken and I left to for our daytrip to Charleston. After the 4 hour drive we spent about an hour with the boys at the house and then made our way over to Casey, IL for the team Thanksgiving meal at Richard's Farm Restaurant.

We sat with some of the seniors. Trevor, Kevin Mahoney, Austin Signor, Andre Lima, Body Reeder and Chris Vaccaro. It was wild to watch these guys eat.

They did two full plates of entrees, potatoes, dressing, etc., big glasses of mile and then still had room to bring back full plates from the dessert bar, some with a bowl of ice cream on the side!

Despite all of this food, while they were still eating they were planning their Thanksgiving evening, a 'wine and cheese' party back at the house. Don't be fooled though, the wine at these parties usually comes in a box and the cheese is often of the single's variety that you have to unwrap!

The drive back from Casey to Charleston turned out to be more eventful than we'd planned. Ken and I had both found on the drive over that, after being use to driving the motorhome an80d the jeep, we were finding it very difficult to keep the Audi below 80 mph. Unfortunately, the problem caught up with us and Ken got pulled over by the Clark County Sheriff for going 74 in a 55 zone. Amazingly, after he heard that we were doing dinner with the EIU team stuck at school to practice and saw that Ken had gone some time without a ticket, he left us of with a warning but made it clear that if the vehicle was clocked speeding again any time soon we would definitely get a ticket since the warning was now logged. It has felt like we were creeping the rest of the week but we really didn't want to get pulled over again within days of a warning ticket!

On Saturday we left at 7am to travel to Carbondale for the playoff game.

We had not planned to do any tailgating but got a call from the Robinson's who were setting up in one of the parking lots and so joined them for some true tailgating out of the back of their pickup.

Theyare originally from this area and had been here for Thanksgiving. That meant that Scott had caught an interesting piece in the prior day's newspaper about Trevor. Apparently they always highlight one opposing team player an write them up as the Big Target. As it turns out having that 'target' on his back meant Trevor was getting double teamed and more than his fair share of O-Line attention all day.

The SIU team mascot is the Saluki and so on the way in to the stadium we passed several of these beautiful dogs enjoying the tailgating.

They seem to enjoy the attention of the kids at the tailgate as much as Sox and Ditka do!

Trevor had been elevated to the role of team caption since Adrian is out for the season with a shoulder injury.

While we scored and were not looking too bad in the first quarter, things started going downhill fast. Trevor and Andre were already stretched to the max with their key backup Spiro out with an ankle injury, then late first quarter, Andre went down, best guess at this point is a torn ligament in the ankle area. Defensive tackles normally rotate frequently since they are hitting on every play and this left Trevor on the field now almost all of the time. That, in addition, with him already being the 'target' meant that by early in the second half Ken and I could see that he was starting to fade. He kept it at and made it through the game with 5 tackles, 1 for loss and one fumble recovery.
Unfortunately SIU played awesome and EIU couldn't seem to get it together. We made a lot of mistakes with some of the stats standing out: 5 fumbles, 4 sacks, and making only 2 of 11 third down conversions. It seemed that defense was always back on the field and with the key injuries we had on defense it wasn't our best showing on that side of the ball either since they all seemed worn down by 2nd half.
I hated to see Trev's last game go so poorly but he worked hard and kept pushing himself and the guys around him.
It was a real emotional time after the game, with coaches and team members coming up for hugs and kind words as the seniors walked off the football field, knowing they had just played their last game in the sport they loved so much.

Here's Trev with Coach Roc, the Defensive Coordinator who has been such a motivator and posititve influence for Trev.

Trev's godmother (and Ken's sister), Lois, had come to see the game along with her son, BJ, and daughter, Erin. These 3 were all born within 13 months of each other, went to grade school and high school together and have always been close cousins!

Since Erin lives in Carbondale, with her husband, Casey, we dropped by their house after the game since we hadn't been there before. She and Casey have done a great job of selecting and fixing up a house to make it a really great home.
So, while it's hard to even say, football season is over. Ken and I are back at home now and will be organizing for the holidays and working to finish off remodeling as quickly as possible so that we can get back to our adventures on the road.
Hugs, C

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