Bobcats Ready to Bear Down

Over the past three years, I have had the privilege of coaching 40 amazing young men in the sport of football.  As 4th, 5th & 6th graders, these young men have played in the Minden Optimist Club’s youth football league.  They have competed against teams from Minden, Axtell, Gibbon, Franklin, Hildreth, Kenesaw, and Oxford.  To date, these young men have compiled an 11-4 record.  My current players are preparing to complete their 2010 season.  Their final game will be this Sunday in Blue Hill.

In most respects, this has been both the most rewarding and most challenging of my three seasons.  We will bring a 2-2 record into this season’s finale.  We started this season with only 15 players intending to play 11-man football.  Even before the first game, we had one of our young men break his arm.  In our very first game, our little squad of 14 faced off against a band of 25 in 90 degree heat.  Our boys jumped out to a 12-0 lead, but the heat and extra playing time took its toll as we pushed into the fourth quarter.  Even though the boys lost the opener 20 – 12, I could not have been prouder of the character they displayed. 

After dropping to 9 man football for the rest of the season, we posted two straight victories despite loosing two more players.  Now, with only 12 players, we faced the 500 pound gorilla.  Last weeks contest brought a lot of firsts for our team.  It was the first time we lost a game past the midway mark of the season, it was our first ever loss on an 8-man field or in a 9 man game, and it was our first loss ever by more than 8 points.  We got thrashed!! 

There are a lot of life lessons that can be learned from football; perseverance, leadership, teamwork, responsibility, hard-work, fitness and conditioning, strategy, patience, humility, confidence, sportsmanship, manners, and much more.  I have always told my players, that our goals were to learn these lessons and to have fun.  Those are our priorities.  I still prefer to win ball games though.

By far, this team has had to overcome a lot more challenges in their lives than my previous two teams.  I would really like to see this group finish the season playing well and building some confidence in themselves as they go int the second half of their last year before moving into junior high school.  They deserve it.


About Jesse Alber

Jesse Alber attained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech Communications with an Athletic Coaching Endorsement from Hastings College in May, 1993. From 1994 - 2000, Alber served in leadership roles in human resources, retail, and production. Alber enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2000. He served as a Armored Cavalry Scout and Troop Training Manager with A 3/7 CAV 3d ID until 2004. Alber deployed to Bosnia in 2001 and Kwait / Iraq in 2003. Alber served in the Army Reserves from 2005 - 2008. From 2004 - 2010 Alber served as the Adult Education Coordinator for Central Community College and Executive Director for the Hastings Literacy Program. Alber returned to Hastings College in 2010 to study Computer Science and Web Design. He is currently emploed as a Programming and Web Development Intern with Servi-Tech Industries. Alber will complete his program of study in the summer of 2012.
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One Response to Bobcats Ready to Bear Down

  1. Jesse Alber says:

    Bobcats fall to the Eagles, 14-6. We end the season 2-3. My three year run drops to 11-5. I am very proud of these boys.

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