“Mr. Mariscal and Mr. Bob — FOOTBALL!” These are the words exclaimed by 10-12 kids every day at lunchtime. Mr. Bob’s team and Mr. Mariscal’s team are pitted against each other for another battle. I’ve been working at HTS for about two years now, and one thing I look forward to every day is playing football with the kids during lunchtime. It’s a great way to unwind and bond with the students. Like my coaches before me exemplified, it’s through hard work and sweat that relationships are formed, and our lunchtime games are no exception. We have kids make highlight reel catches and the occasional tumble to the ground. But after every game, Mr. Bob and I walk away laughing as the kids line up for class. “That was the greatest game ever!” one of the kids shouts as he darts across the field. “Did you see that catch today? That was amazing!” yells another.
Out on that blacktop, kids don’t see each other as they do when they are in the classroom. It’s hard to explain, but the kids walk onto the blacktop and they start coming together to become a team. They don’t care if their teammates struggle with math or reading, or make the occasional emotional outburst in class. They just want the team to succeed. Students who usually struggle with letting down soon look as if they are in their natural element. On that blacktop, Mr. Bob and I are able to orchestrate magic. Today, for example, a ball passed through two kids’ hands, only to fall into the hands of a student who rarely catches a pass. His eyes lit up like light bulbs and he raised the football in the air as if it were a trophy. All his teammates surrounded him, congratulating him on a great catch, and the defense walked away smiling, knowing they had just seen something great.
Just another day in the life of lunchtime football.