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The Viewfinder: Football Edition

Autumn Hoff, Editor-in-Chief

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It’s football season. Alliance High School is having its first home game of the season. Kickoff is at seven p.m, sharp. The school has been hyped up all week. Friday, the halls were full of school spirit.

 

6:51pm:

I’m late. The two block stroll to the field should have only taken me a couple minutes, but once I hit the gate to get in, I smack into a line that goes on for a quarter of a block. I wait impatiently to reach the front of the line, as I watch the tunnel run, a perfect picture opportunity just too far away.

 

7:00pm:

Kickoff. The crowd roars, pom-poms shake, and excitement can be felt like a light morning mist. Another good picture, but alas the crowd of players on the sideline are too caught up trying to get their own view of the game to politely let me get mine.

A group of young fans, maybe 11 or 12 years old stand at the sideline following the game, watching what they can only dream of doing someday. Unfortunately, they are so intent on catching every play with their beady eyes that the tops of their rounded heads pop into my shots, as they rush in front of me.

Watching the game through the viewfinder, trying to follow the ball, constantly pushing my index finger down on the trigger, and only to have the ball fly and bounce five feet in front of me. Some luck. That dive would have made a great shot.

 

Whenever half-time rolled around:

The Bulldogs are being defeated by a 36 point lead. They leave the field in hopes of a better second half. The football team may have left the field, but it soon refills with a different breed of bulldog. The AHS marching band takes the field.

It’s rough taking pictures of people who stand in a horizontal line when you’re only at the track’s edge. The band hasn’t gotten their amazing routine started up for this season yet, so instead they played in a couple long, horizontal lines. Difficult to photoshop, but at least they still sounded good, giving them a great start to their season.

 

When half-time ended:

The boys are back on the field and ready to play. They line up on the field as I snap dozens of pictures, hoping that at least one of them turns out focused enough to use.

They line up, move a few yards, then do it all over again. From the picture-taking perspective, it gets a little repetitive, but it’s okay, because one of these dozens of shots could be worth my while.

Uh oh. A player’s down. The whooping and cheering comes to an abrupt halt. The whole world seems to go silent for thirty seconds as the team walks away from their fallen teammate. The crowd starts murmuring. Hushed, curious tones can be heard, even from the field.

Everyone wants to know what happened. Is the player okay? Who is it? What did they do? Some in the crowd search for their relatives’ numbers on the field, hoping to find them, hoping that the fallen player isn’t theirs. A horrible notion to think, but you know it’s true. I wouldn’t want my brother to be hurt.

From the field, news travels that the player is one of the Bauer twins. The two of them are juniors, and both important members of the team. Whispers of it being a leg injury are also heard, but nothing is confirmed.

Within minutes of hearing this news, the uninjured twin, Jayce, sprints across the field, trying to reach his brother, Jayden. If only the kid hadn’t ran so fast. I could have captured that moment.

He’s held back, creating a heartbreaking moment. The line of cheerleaders stand watching as tears roll down their pristine faces. The coach approaches him and comforts him. Another picture perfect moment. Come on camera, focus!

The game resumes, but it’s off to a slow start. Everyone is still thinking about the fact that just minutes ago Jayden Bauer was taken around the track in an ambulance.

They move only a few yards after every play. I end up sitting at about the 20 yard line camera ready just waiting for any sort of movement. Give me one good tackle boys, come on.

Finally, there’s some good motion! Mason Hiemstra breaks free from the dogpile at the other end of the field and runs a touchdown, scoring the Bulldogs 6 points. Unfortunately, it all happened so fast that I couldn’t get the greatest focus.

The game goes on. Cheers pierce the air, tackles shake the grassy field, and the scent of sweaty teenage boys fills my lungs as I attempt to get at least one good shot.

And then suddenly, the game is over. The Bulldogs lose. I pack my camera and walk the two blocks home. Thinking, writing, and hoping that I got at least one good shot.

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The Viewfinder: Football Edition