August 30, 2014 GHSA News
by: Missy Koslowski
Last night’s game at The Frank was a rivalry contest that ended with a score of Kell 42 Lassiter 35, but if that is all you see you have missed something. Early this morning and into today, come talks about the Kell victory, but to watch this game “live” as I did last night, gives us the story behind the story.
Sitting on the Kell (Visitor) side and talking to the visiting parents and fans of Kell, I realized that there IS an animosity – a built-in fight for bragging rights. What jumped out to me (and quite frankly what I was hoping to see) was the heart and fight to appear in this young Lassiter team being lead by QB Senior Russell Aarons.
To be honest, I think that it was the Trojans that “shocked” the Longhorns! Highly ranked Kell came into Frank Fillmann Stadium with a swagger of a pre-determined winner and left hammered and battered. Yes, they won the game, but the real story is what the Trojans accomplished allong the way.
The Lassiter Trojans led by Head Coach, Jep Irwin made some significant improvements in their play from last week. This was apparent in the performance and up-tempo of the offense and the never-say-die attitude of the defense. “While very disappointed that we ultimately lost, I am very proud of our team’s effort and toughness in coming back twice from 2 TD deficits,” Lassiter coach Jep Irwin said. “We have a lot to work on but also a lot we can build on moving forward.”
Don’t get me wrong, there were mistakes made , tackles missed and coverage’s blown – but what amazing heart these young men showed! Stats are important as they reflect a “measurement” for people who do not take the opportunity or do not have the chance to see the game in-person. Mason Waters #20 carried the ball 16 times for 81 yards and scored one of Lassiter’s touchdowns from a pass thrown by Aarons. Grant Daniels ran over and past defenders, carrying the ball 14 times for 78 yards. The offense shows great balance running and passing. Impressive was Aarons, with actually the best QB performance of the night, completing 23 of 30 passes for 340 yards, including some great catches made by #85 Cole Taylor, #8 Micah Grigsby, and #87 Pearson VanHorn.
Throughout the game there were moments that could only be gleaned from being physically at the game. Watching Aarons lead his team last night, he was impressive – not just by stats (but in the intangibles). Last week we wrote about leader’s stepping forward – this happened with Aarons. It also manifested itself in a young player on defense, Thomas Donalson #41. This kid is scappy! Donalson, a sophomore is listed as 5’11”, 205. He gave the defense something to reckon with, so much so that the Kell 6’4″ 280 lb. Offensive Tackle, James Dematto had to tackle Donalson to keep him from sacking his QB, #10 Rosendahl.
As coach Irwin stated, this young team is disappointed in the loss but it comes with significant improvement and demonstration of “heart” and determination. The great Vince Lombardi stated:
“Football is like life, it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority”.
In one week, this young Lassiter Team has made HUGE improvements, leaders have emerged, and the coaching staff has shown great prowess in preparing and mentoring their team. The biggest problem now is that we, as fans, have to wait till next week to see more.