Northside offers excitement on the gridiron and volleyball court this week

We are going back to one of my favorite segments to the Helotes Echo.  It is called the game of the week.  I must say I have chosen a great week to preview this feature.

So, without further hesitation let us start with…. volleyball.

The second showdown between cross town rivals—Brandeis and O’Connor will happen Friday night at Northside Gym.  The game will start at 5pm and I recommend you arrive early if you want to select your seat.  

Also, if you are sensitive to loud noises you might want to bring earmuffs.  I expect the spirit section of both schools to outdo themselves at this game.  I have enjoyed watching the student sections from both schools as they have supported their teams at different events this year. 

The game became even more important after last night.  O’Connor lost to Clark in five matches creating a two-way tie for second place between the schools.  To stay in first place and claim a piece of the district championship the Lady Panthers must win the game.  In the last meeting between these two schools it took five matches to determine a winner.  The Lady Panthers were victorious.  O’Connor will be arriving in the gym still stinging from the defeat they experienced against the Lady Cougars.  Along with their height and strength those who are in the stands watching will be treated to a match worthy of the olden Gladiators.

No stranger to the lion’s den, and a very worthy opponent is the Lady Broncos.  Although O’Connor may hold the advantage of overall winners in the series between the two schools, the Lady Broncos have handed the Lady Panthers defeat in earlier games.

The Lady Broncos have one if not the best college recruit in the starting lineup.  In the previous meeting between schools, Emily Dewalt hit the floor and dove for the ball like a killer whale pouncing on a sea lion.  She even banged her shoulder (sure there was a purple and gold badge of honor left behind the next day) hard on the floor trying to keep a ball in play.   No one in the gym bothered to suggest she might sit out and let the shoulder rest. 

The libero from Brandeis has more moves and tricks up her sleeve than Henry Mancini.  She truly conducts music on the floor as she moves her teammates into various positions to return the opponents serve or volley.  Courtney Clark will have her game face on and her shoes on tight ready to bring the fight to O’Connor.

The win or loss will not impact Brandeis position in the playoffs unless Clark and O’Connor were to lose both of their last two games.  Currently Brandeis is sitting in third place.

As those who follow Northside athletics the only guarantee in this district is to expect the impossible.  Each team in the district remains competitive throughout the season and if they were in different UIL athletic districts every school at Northside would be playoff bound.

Coach Garcia with O’Connor said, “Friday night is the goal.  We have to win Friday night and I think our girls are ready to do that.”

If you want to watch a true test of athletes and see performances of super human proportion, I recommend you travel to Northside gym Friday.  However, be warned…no haunted house can prepare you for the excitement and energy you will encounter.

If you thought volleyball was rough…Brandeis boys and football own the other game of the week.  Brennan and Brandeis.  I have searched for weeks for the appropriate metaphor to describe the game—Godzilla meets T-Rex, Attila the Hun meets Maximus the Gladiator.  I just cant select that metaphor yet.  That is not an admission that it will be a boring game—anything but.

Brandeis Broncos have a new coach.  A coach that understands the players and has established a set of expectations for excellence on and off the field.  Brandeis quarterback has an arm and has proven his ability to air the ball out and keep the shuttle pass as an attempt to keep the opponent guessing.

I thought Flores Flores was a senior three years ago.  Unfortunately for Brennan this is his senior year.  His powerful legs not only kick the ball but can run up, down, to the side, to the right, to the left, and maybe just walk across water as he adds to his total yardages he has amazed this year.

During the Marshall game, Jordan Battles utilized a couple of other running backs to provide a break for him to recover from his slight bruise he received in the Marshall game.  Brandeis brings a young squad but they have been tempered this year.  They lost the Johnson game by 3 and they had one other just miss this year.

Brennan has been brave enough to face Judson for three years now and they are still searching for the win.  Jeter keeps developing and becoming a stronger player each week.  Just like a Spanish goat you have a small hole somewhere you can expect Jeter to find it, run through it, and open it up for the end zone. 

Jacob Martinez the quarterback sometimes can be confused with a running back as he opens the field.  There is no “sneaking” here because if he decides to run, jive, and dodge opponents can watch as the gain yardage adds up like a comic strips change counter.  Higher, Higher, Higher.

The winner of this game will be guarantee the “golden ticket” or a straight shot into the playoffs.  The loser (sounds so harsh for such a tough game) will be required to win at the end of the season to punch their golden ticket. 

To add extra pressure to the game.  If Brandeis is to win, it will set up an “Orange Crush” game against O’Connor at the end of the season.  Who wouldn’t want to see a game that will bring 10,000 standing room only to Farris Stadium to watch a district game.

So now the hard part—who will win?  Up until the Marshall game, I was prepared to call this game for Brandeis.  I think the versatility at quarterback and Flores Flores actually have the juice this year to beat Brennan, something that has not happened in two years.  But then We Are Marshall.  After watching a rough game against Marshall and with the improvements Brennan continues to make each week.  I must opt for the cop-out…it’s too close to call. 

Either way, both teams will play a hard game.  Both teams will arrive ready to win.  If you are wanting to watch some football and escape the drama of the pansy league (NFL) come out to Farris Stadium on Friday night, 7:30 pm and be prepared for a battle even the Gladiators of old would enjoy.

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