“Hi, I am a writer and photographer for thestatmanspeaks.com,” I said to the lady at the media/press entrance.
“Where do you want to go,” she answered?
Without hesitation, I said, “not the press-box.”
She said, “ok” and handed me an official NEISD media pass for sideline access. Now, I have that one, mine for www.thestatmanspeaks, and my camera; yes, three things around my neck.
I don’t know if she gives advice to all the photographers or did I look a little uncertain? But, she told me to watch out for the football players and we don’t want to see you in the ambulance. I then proceeded to show her a video from last week’s game at San Antonio Christian where I was gently nudged by a player as they were running thru there breakthrough.
Then it got me thinking about my photography…
I am still learning the proper etiquette of being a photographer; where to stand and what to take pictures of. Sometimes, I look like a rookie, but when my monopod comes out, I turn into a professional. I know that I am getting better and better. And, I really enjoy seeing my photos being shared; especially by the players. A few weeks ago, a player sent me a private message on Twitter asking for pictures and of course, I had some!
So, back to that video and yes, I will share it after this paragraph. I had my camera ready for pictures and my phone ready for a video. Besides the National Anthem, the kick-off, the coin-toss, I just love getting videos of the teams running thru their particular breakthroughs. I know they see me or are they so focused they don’t see me. Well, on this video, I got nudged by a player; I, my phone, and my camera are OK. In the past, they run by me and all I get is a whiff of wind. Next time, I will give myself a little extra space. But, isn’t that what being a photographer is all about? Being at the right spot for a great shot!
On Friday, I was at Comalander stadium for a District 26-6A game between the MacArthur Brahmas and the Madison Mavericks. I knew the stadium was getting a little renovation and I was actually going to get pictures of it; I got stadium renovation pictures of Alamo stadium and Lehnhoff stadium and new construction pictures of the new Northside ISD gymnasium. But, unfortunately, I didn’t get the memo for when they were starting and when they were finished. The renovations that I saw firsthand were new entrance gates for both the home and visitors side, the press-box on the visitors side is gone, and the visitors side got new stands. I remember when the home press-box got renovated at the stadium, because that was one of the first fancy press-boxes in the area. Now, the majority of them are fancy.
I didn’t pick this game because of the close proximity from where I work, although that was one of the smaller reasons. I picked this game because I really wanted to see both quarterbacks, Tyler Vitt, a senior for MacArthur and Dante Heaggans, a junior for Madison.
I saw Tyler as a sophomore in Week 8 in 2015 when they played the Lee (or L.E.E) Volunteers. Don’t even get me started on the name change! All I will say is even though I didn’t graduate from Lee, it will always be Lee to me. It’s just like Cesar Chavez Blvd in downtown San Antonio; it will always be Durango Blvd to me. You can’t change history so just deal with it. That is all.
Ok, so let me get back to Tyler in that Week 8 game against Lee. Here is a little blurb from my article I wrote on that game:
With 2:53 left in the 4th and Lee still trailing 57 to 56, they had a 4th and 6 from the 13 yard line. Boy, I sure am glad I am not a coach who ultimately has to make the decision to kick a field goal or go for it on 4th down. I mean, if you kick a field goal and it is good, you lead 59 to 57, but a field goal will win it for MacArthur (assuming it is good). If you decide to go for it on 4th down, you can either get a first down to extend the drive and run time off the clock and hopefully score with very little time remaining. But, if you go for it and don’t get the first down, the game is over and MacArthur wins. Well, Danny Kloza, the Lee head coach chose to kick a field goal and David Greer-Smith nailed it. Lee led 59 to 57. MacArthur had 2:50 left in the game to either kick a game winning field goal or score a game winning touchdown. On a 4th down play for MacArthur’s pass was incomplete which means turnover on downs and Lee ball. With no time-outs, Lee ran the clock out and won the game by a final score of 59 to 57. The sophomore quarterback, Tyler Vitt, was 16 of 39 passing for 362 yards with 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Eight of those passes were for more than 20 yards. Did I mention he is a sophomore? He is only going to get better and we get him for 2 more years.
For a numbers guy like me, this game was full of crazy numbers.
After 1 quarter, Madison led MacArthur 7 to 3.
At halftime, MacArthur led Madison 24-21. Yeah, 35 points scored! Wow! MacArthur’s senior quarterback, Tyler Vitt, had a 75 yard touchdown run. That isn’t a typo.
At the end of the 3rd quarter, MacArthur led Madison 31 to 28.
The score was still MacArthur 31 and Madison 28 with 5:23 left in the game. In a span of :22 seconds, MacArthur scored 2 touchdowns and increased the lead to 45 to 28. I knew Madison wasn’t ready to concede and on cue, Madison scored a touchdown with 4:26 left in the game; they trailed 45 to 35. MacArthur scored again with 3:26 left in the game and they again led by 17 points; 52 to 35. Madison scored again with 2:22 left in the game, but they again trailed by 10 points; 52 to 42. In a span of 3 minutes, both teams combined for 35 points in the final quarter. I have been involved with San Antonio high school football for 20 years and have never seen that feat; it was amazing and awesome and I was glad I had a front row seat. At one point during that 4th quarter offensive explosion, I thought about putting my camera away and just watching the game; but that didn’t happen. Maybe I can do that at a future game.
The final score was MacArthur 52 and Madison 42
Tyler Vitt had 438 total yards with 3 touchdowns for MacArthur and Dante Heaggans had 384 total yards with 3 touchdowns for Madison. I can easily see Tyler getting a player of the week and Dante getting an honorable mention from the media; TV, newspaper, or a high school football website. I was extremely impressed with Vitt and wouldn’t be surprised if he has more offers on the table throughout the season. Dante is a junior and next year, he could end up being one of the top quarterbacks in the San Antonio area.
MacArthur key stats – courtesy of mysa.com
Tyler Vitt, senior quarterback – 17 of 23 passing for 227 yards with 2 touchdowns and 18 carries for 201 yards with 1 touchdown
Chase McDaniel, senior running back – 22 carries for 90 yards with 1 touchdown
Lanir Shabazz, junior wide receiver – 4 receptions for 121 yards with 1 touchdown
For the season, Tyler Vitt has 1,626 passing yards with 14 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.
Madison key stats – courtesy of mysa.com
Dante Heaggans, junior quarterback – 17 of 25 passing for 22 yards with 1 touchdown and one interception and 23 carries for 160 yards with 2 touchdowns
Treveon Tippins, senior running back – 16 carries for 102 yards with 2 touchdowns
Jalen Battles, senior wide receiver – 7 receptions for 93 yards
For the season, Dante Heaggans has 879 passing yards and 908 rushing yards with 21 total touchdowns.
The MacArthur Brahmas (2-5, 1-2) will play the Roosevelt Roughriders (2-4, 0-2) on Saturday at Comalander stadium.
The Madison Mavericks (2-4, 1-1) will play the Churchill Chargers (4-3, 1-2) on Friday at Heroes stadium.
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/MacArthur-at-Madison-10132017/.
Here are some photos from the game:
Next Saturday, I will be at Lang field as the St. Anthony Yellow Jackets play the TMI Panthers; weather permitting.