Keegan: West, South play one for ages

October 4, 2012


It’s not every day a school administrator fields a call like the one South Middle School assistant principal Lynn Harrod took Wednesday. One of the officials from Tuesday evening’s football game against West was on the line.

“He wanted more money,” Harrod said.

What did he tell him?

“No,” Harrod said.

Can’t blame the ref for trying. After all, it wasn’t just any game he officiated. The scoreboard, which read 14-14 at the end of four eight-minute quarters, read West 52, South 46 when it finally ended after six overtimes. (Each team gets the ball at the 10-yard line.)

West’s Sam Rosenstengle put an end to it, scoring on a 22-Dive play.

“It was wide-open,” said Rosenstengle, brother of former Free State High quarterback Craig. “I walked right in.”

Right guard Nathan Vigil’s grandfather was in attendance, in town from New Mexico. It seems an awful long way to come for just one game, but an appropriate distance for such a rare game. Grandpa got to see Nathan and right tackle Reese Todd throw the game-winning blocks.

The length of the game enabled West coach Fred Fergus to empty his cliché bag:

“You’ve gotta step up!” he told his players, and that’s not all he told them. “How you gonna react? You gonna act like a man, or you gonna pout about it?”

School administrators who intended to watch the entire game let Fergus know they would have stayed until the end but had to pick up their own children from their activities.

The South Middle School girls basketball players knew they wouldn’t be able to stay until the end because of their practice schedule, but they saw the beginning to lend support. And much to their surprise, they saw the end, too.

The long game made for a short night for the South players. They were back on the practice field at 6:30 Wednesday morning in advance of the 8 a.m. school bell.

That’s early, but not too early for South coach Ryan Beavers to empty his cliché bag, which is about as heavy as his counterpart’s:

“We talked about fighting through adversity and showing willpower,” Beavers said.

As victories go, this was an especially thrilling one, though the noise level on the bus back to West sounded more like that of a losing team.

“They were just exhausted,” Fergus said of his players. “They were happy as all get-out, but once the got on the bus and the adrenaline stopped pumping, they were pretty subdued.”

How subdued?

Rosenstengle said he never felt so tired after a football game, and he said he played a 10-overtime game for the Hurricanes two years ago.

“I slept on the bus ride home,” Rosenstengle said. “Fun game. I don’t think I ever will forget it.”


Clickker 5 years, 8 months ago

I love how Keegs writes these articles without even being there. He was probably on the 16th at LCC at the time of this game. No doubt Harrod phoned it in to him

ModerateOne 5 years, 8 months ago

Good point Clickker. No doubt the 13-year old boys who played in this game care much more deeply about whether Keegan was there than the magic that they experienced on the field. Fifty years from now I'm sure they'll be reminiscing with their grandsons about Tom Keegan's golf game.

oldvet 5 years, 8 months ago

Fergus is an outstanding teacher and one heck of a good coach. He gets the best out of his team, much the same as he does with his Social Studies students.

Great job, Fred.

Semper Fi!

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