On Thursday, I was at the new Cornerstone Christian campus as they hosted the St. Anthony Yellow Jackets.
I arrived a little bit early so I could explore and take picture with my new monopod; yes, I am officially a camera geek! I used it for the 2nd half of the game and to be honest, I enjoyed it; I felt professional! It did look weird with my small digital camera on it, but when compared to the newer digital camera with fancier lenses, mine is actually almost as good as those. Plus, I don’t have the money to spend unless somebody wants to sponsor my website!
Maybe my next photo project; my previous ones have been stadium renovations (Alamo stadium and Lehnhoff stadium) and a new build (the Northside ISD Gymnasium), can be photographing some of the older schools in San Antonio. St. Anthony, which was established in 1903, can be my 1st; I know Alejandro Calderon can hook me up. I guess I can also include the newer school like Harlan high school in the Northside ISD and Cornerstone; I don’t mind donning a hard hat and safety vest.
The campus is shiny as it just opened last month and absolutely gorgeous. Several buildings are still under construction. So, the football stadium wasn’t extravagant by any means; it did have a large video scoreboard, but the video part either wasn’t working or is still under construction. There was no press-box; ok, there was and it was on the visitors side and the best way I can explain it was it looked like 3 separate small deer blinds! Google deer blinds after you read my article. At first, I thought it was for the visiting coaches and camera crew, then I realized it was the real press-box! Now, I don’t know if a fancy press-box will be installed on the home side when they get more money. Instead of a concession stand, they had several food trucks; which I think is a much better idea and more stadiums should do that. Usually, when I arrive to an unfamiliar stadium, I have to know where the bathrooms are and since I didn’t see any under the stands where they normally are, I asked a security guard. He pointed to one small white trailer; for both ladies and men; I am serious. At least they were clean, but the walls were super thin and I could hear the ladies. One of the things I saw for the first time ever at a high school football stadium was there were 3 bounce houses; you know for the kids. Man, what a brilliant idea. I am enamored with football stadiums and airplanes and Cornerstone stadium is in the flight path of the San Antonio International Airport! It was so awesome seeing airplanes all game long and getting photos of them with the stadium lights in the background. Only a chain linked fence separated the street behind the visitors side and the football field. Cars were parked on that street and I saw several people watching the game thru the fence or even sitting on top of there cars.
It was also nice that I had a small backpack to carry all of my stuff; eyeglasses, notepad and pens, camera case, hat, water, and of course the monopod. I felt important! The only thing I need is my own media pass. I really need to make more of an effort of promoting my website at games; I did business cards in the past, but that wasn’t effective. Would a t-shirt work? Maybe. Should I email the Athletic Directors or coaches to inform them I will be at there games? Maybe.
I think that is enough about me. Let’s get down to the football game.
I covered the St. Anthony football team last season and it was very welcoming for me to see everybody from head coach Kevin Smisek, to the assistant coaches, to the players, and to the fans. I, very briefly, spoke to Coach Smisek before the game. This is not something I am used to doing and often, I don’t know what to ask. He told me his team is very young. Last year, they had a stud running back named Olan Vining III, who had over 1,400 yards rushing as a senior. I did ask him about losing him and the fact that you can’t just easily replace him; he agreed and pointed to a freshman who very well could be the next Olan Vining III.
Last year, this game was played at Lang field, which is the home for St. Anthony and they won in overtime. This is an excerpt from my article I wrote:
St. Anthony got the ball first and their workhorse, Olan Vining III, scored on a 1-yard run. The extra point was good and St. Anthony had a 20-13 lead. Cornerstone scored on a beautiful 3-yard pass in the corner of the end zone. I was standing 5 yards away, and, I must admit, I was very impressed with that catch. I am glad I am not a coach who has to make the decision to kick an extra point or go for 2 and the win! After timeouts and penalties and even a missed kick, Cornerstone chose to kick an extra point and take the Yellow Jackets to double overtime. How much pressure was on that Cornerstone kicker? I saw the St. Anthony kicker, Brandon Johnson, warming his leg up, in case he was called upon to kick one as time expired in the 4th quarter. I am glad I didn’t say “Break a leg!.”
I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. When I saw the ball hit the bottom of the goal post, that was it…GAME OVER. ST. ANTHONY WON 20 TO 19 IN OVERTIME. Wow! I clapped proudly and cheered silently while the players and fans jumped and celebrated excitedly. And the best way to finish a win at home is with a Homecoming dance!
On Friday night, it was a very Deja Vu feeling as the game went into triple overtime and it was Homecoming for Cornerstone.
After the 1st quarter, Cornerstone led St. Anthony 3 to 0. St. Anthony led 7 to 3 at halftime. Cornerstone regained the lead 10 to 7 after 3 quarters.
In the 4th quarter, I moved from the St. Anthony sideline to the Cornerstone sideline and it wasn’t looking good for St. Anthony as Cornerstone still led 10 to 7 and the clock was winding down to less than 2 minutes left. At that time, I was also making my way back to the St. Anthony sideline so I could get my backpack and listen in on the St. Anthony postgame chatter from Coach Smisek. With 1:33 left, Cornerstone fumbled and St. Anthony recovered. Here we go! A field goal ties and a touchdown wins! St. Anthony kicked a 25 yard field goal and it was perfect. Just 0:01 remained and when Cornerstone caught the kickoff, they just kneeled down and conceded to overtime.
In the 1st overtime, neither team scored.
In the 2nd overtime, both teams scored. It was 17 to 17.
In the 3rd overtime, Cornerstone nailed a field goal and led 20 to 17. Here we go! A field goal ties and a touchdown wins for St. Anthony. St. Anthony lined up for another 25 yard field goal and Cornerstone blocked it. And, just like that, the game was over. These are types of games I enjoy covering; not blow-outs!
Cornerstone defeated St. Anthony in triple overtime by a score of 20 to 17. It was a fun and exciting finish and I captured some of these scores on video thru my phone and shared them to social media as soon as they happened.
St. Anthony is now 1 and 1 and they play at San Marcos Baptist on Thursday.
Cornerstone improves to 3 and o and they play at San Antonio Christian on Friday.
Unfortunately, Mysa.com didn’t have any stats for this game. I could make some up and that would be fun for me, but I want to respect both schools. One thing they did do is they retweeted my tweets and I really appreciate that.
If you want to share my photos, all I ask is for you to either give me credit or tag me on Twitter @statmanspeaks or Facebook @ The Statman Speaks. The entire photo galley for the game can be found here: https://thestatmanspeaks.smugmug.com/High-School-Football/Football-Games-2017/St-Anthony-at-Cornerstone-09152017/.
Next Friday, I will be at Canyon Lake high school as they host the Wimberly Texans. If Niko was in high school, Canyon Lake would be his school. I know this because our neighbors a few houses down from us have a huge sign on there gate that their kids go to Canyon Lake high school. But, Smithson Valley high school is closer; I can’t argue with zoning! It will be my 1st time seeing both of these schools and I have lived in Canyon Lake for almost 3 and a half years; I am really excited for this game.