Injured Reserve to Fiesta Bowl Champion (part 3)

We were the last team to make the cut for the Alaska State football playoffs.

We had the worst record.

However, we had a team that had come together through massive adversity.

The loss of two of it’s best players and team captains (myself and our starting quarterback).

The rearranging of players to new and unfamiliar positions.

A dismal record with only one more win than losses.

This team had been forged through a crucible to get this far.  

On paper, we looked like we would be eliminated in the first round. 

What the paper doesn’t show is the mental toughness that our team gained through the season.

What our record didn’t fully illuminate was the team bond that was formed through the challenges of the season.

What you couldn’t tell as an outsider was the complete transcendence of the team.

We were not the same team that started the season.

I was confined to a boot due to an injury sustained in the third game of the season and relegated to player-coach. 

We chose game by game if I needed to cast the boot aside, saddle up, and hit the field as this was a risk of further damage and possible career ending issues.  

Now, remember this was a different team from when I was playing. 

A better a team. 

A team that could win without me.

Here is the game by game win-loss notes. (I played for Dimond)

Quarterfinals: Dimond vs Juneau-Douglas

I did not play.

We won 33 – 0.

Semifinals: Dimond vs Wasilla

This was a tougher call and yet again we felt we could win without me risking further injury by playing too soon.

We were correct, we won 33 – 6. 

Championship:  Dimond vs Bartlett

Bartlett was the top team in the state. 

Bartlett was the team we were playing when I injured my ankle and was relegated to the sideline for the rest of the season.

Bartlett was a game I was not going to miss.

We chose to utilize me only on offense and it paid off.

Bartlett 0 – Dimond 16.

I won MVP honors, not because I am anything special but because of the principles at work.

Teamwork
Grit
Mental Toughness
Doing what needed to be done
Will to win
Transcendence
Smart coaching
Strategic utilization of the tools at hand


We grew as a team and we grew as humans that season.

As of the writing of this (2019), no school has won back-back football state championships since.  

To put the cherry on top we also won the Academic Award with an average GPA of 3.03.  (coincidence…I think not)

Science says there are four MILLION different iterations of the person you can be based on environmental expression of your genes.

That’s four MILLION different yous!

Don’t tell me you can’t transcend who you currently are to become somebody else just like my high school football team did my senior year.


Brett “Injured Reserved MVP” Denton