It’s 7:30 PM on Friday, September 16, 2010. The undefeated [3-0] Jeffersontown High School Football Chargers are ready to take on the #5 ranked Western High School Warriors. There’s history between these two schools as J-Town also started 3-0 last season, before suffering their first loss…to the Western Warriors [27-16].
The excitement levels were not reserved to just the players and coaches. The J-Town H.S. parents have a vested interest in their Chargers. From those parents with kids on the football team to those parents with kids in band, the parents share the bumps, bruises, ups, downs, and overall emotions encompassing this year’s team. Third year Coach Gary Weiter appreciates the support provided by all parents, and knows their presence provides a positive influence on the players. The J-Town parental attendance at the team’s first road game easily outnumbered the parental attendance for home team Iroquois H.S., as the Chargers blanked Iroquois 46-0.
Unfortunately, success brings potential problems, as Charger players have drawn the attention of collegiate football programs. Two Charger juniors, DeMichael Jackson and Daniel Ross have garnered interest from the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky respectively. As recruiting violations headline sports pages virtually every week [with North Carolina, Tennessee, and the Reggie Bush Heisman return the most recent]. Parents are becoming more aware and educated on what constitutes a recruiting violation, and what they can do to keep such conduct away from their athletic programs.
Of those parents spoken with, many believe the NCAA will not or worse yet, cannot do anything to stop violations. They expressed dismay on how easy it is to provide student-athletes with money, clothes, food and other perks. Accountability for wrongdoing [players, agents, colleges] is a topic which creates as much debate amongst parents, as does politics and taxes. That’s a topic for another day.
On this night, parents flinched with each hard hit, cheered for each great play and score, and suffered with each turnover and missed opportunity. The nerve racking, hard hitting, lead changing game ended in a tie after regulation. Unfortunately, Western H.S. scored a touchdown in overtime to pull out a 22-16 win.
After the overtime loss, Coach Weiter huddled his team. The fans and parents in attendance expressed their gratitude by giving the Chargers a well deserved and heart-felt standing ovation. J-Town H.S. parents have plenty to look forward to the remainder of the season. They have plenty to be proud of too!!!