Monday, December 7, 2009

Three Times is A Charm as Eastern Tech wins their 1st state football championship

Your Eastern Tech Mavericks football squad had been in this situation before. It was win or go home. Play or get played. Take advantage of opportunities or wait until next year. But this time it was different. A different opponent and a different feel for things. This time they were more experienced. They walked like champions, talked like champions and were humble like champions. But the question is would they have the heart of a champion. They knew they couldn’t fail Coach Mesaros and his staff who had been working with them in the weight room since the Monday after they lost to River Hill in 2007, 14-7. You could sense that a change was coming to the culture of football in this small magnet school situated in the middle of Baltimore County. There was something different, something that started to spark and click with these players and finally that all paid off on a cold Saturday afternoon that saw the season’s first snow in the Baltimore area. It was below 40 degrees at M&T Bank Stadium but these guys knew that after 2 straight appearances in the state championship before, something had to change. The haters and doubters needed to be proven wrong and the 2009 MPSSAA 3A Varsity Football title needed to come on down to Baltimore County. Eastern Tech lead 9-0 at halftime after a touchdown by the invincible Zach Burkhardt which went 85 yds., and a costly mistake by the special teams crew of the number 1 seeded Queen Anne’s Lions who fumbled a punt all the way to the end zone which caused a safety. In the second half, Chucky Iweh ran for a 9-yd TD but not before Queen Anne’s tried to make a comeback for the ages, but it was too late. They finally pulled it off. As the players stood on the field for one final kneel to run off the clock and end the game you could see Coach Mesaros jumping up and down getting drenched with Gatorade and players hugging and crying together, you would have almost thought they were watching Titanic. In an interview I did with Coach Mesaros in 2008 he said that the biggest reason why Eastern Tech’s football program is successful is because of the work ethic they have put forth to improve their game, “we outworked a lot of teams and a lot of people” and that statement became blatantly obvious through the way these guys had played during the whole season. The team lost 12 seniors last year and nobody believed in them, now they are about to lose 22 seniors like Emmanuel Gbor, Crizon Brown, Wole Ognubo and others. There is a different atmosphere when it comes to football at Eastern Tech now, the passion that these players have acquired is like none other, for all those who doubt and say that it isn’t possible to go back to defend our title next year, just listen to the advice of two-time NBA champ and coach of the year Rudy Tomjanovich. The Rockets were the lowest seed in the NBA playoffs but were able to win the NBA championship, when talking to the media Rudy exclaimed “NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE HEART OF A CHAMPION!”

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