I'm sad the title doesn't read State Champs, but I do want to say that Mesa put up a good fight. After being ranked 11th at the beginning of the year in their division, to become state runners up, that itself is a crowning victory. Those boys fought and bled together showing us that spirit and determination is more valuable than statistics and odds. After defeating Mnt. Pointe, a undefeated at the time, they were challenged again by Hamilton, another undefeated tea
m. The whole week before the game, I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. I was stoked to go to the game with my wife( a Mesa High graduate) and daughter( future Mesa High graduate). My parents bought tickets and shirts.
Even a shirt for Addison that was way too big for her, but it was super cute. On the shirts it said "Mesa Believes." We all believed that they could surpass the challenges that they had faced. Mesa showed that they could win, even though they face insurmountable odd, as they showed what they were capable of when they played Mnt. Pointe.
Before the game Brittney and I made a sign that said on one side, "Mckay Alumni: Kyle 2003, Brittney 2007, Addison 2029, Heart Mesa High" on the other
side it said "The McKay's Believe." Then we were off to the game with my two sisters.
Mesa was to face Hamilton at the University of Phoenix Stadium. The stadium was awesome. The crowd that came out to cheer on the Jackrabbits was even better. It was a sea of purple and gold. Our numbers were far superior than that of Hamilton, and our spirit was even greater. Old friends and alumni were reunited in this glorious field of battle. My father-in-law, a 3rd generation graduate and football player came out to the game. He participated in the State Championship back when played football for Mesa in the early 80s
The Mesa High Jackrabbits came marching onto the field. The stands erupted into thunderous cheers of support. The Mesa High team preformed the Haka, a mauri war dance, that has become a tradition started by many of the Tongan and Samoan players. After the kickoff the game began. It was a back and forth battle between Mesa and Hamilton ass each team struggled to advance on the field. I was impressed as Mesa's defense prevented Hamilton from gaining yards. At one point during the second quarter, Hamilton was at the goal line with two yard to go. After being shut down, Hamilton was forced to take the field goal. Though disappointed that they had scored, we still know we had a fighting chance. Toward the end of the second half is when Hamilton scored its first touch down. You could feel the disappointment of the crowd, but we didn't stop believing.
The second half of the game I'm hardly going to mention. Lets just say Mesa could not hold onto the ball and gave it up to Hamilton after several fumbles. Toward the end, Mesa continued to fight valiantly, but to no avail. The buzzer rang, the game was over. Hamilton left the victor.
Though no state champion title was awarded to Mesa High, those boys have something to be very proud of. We had not seen as state champion game since 1992. Mesa was just considered a second rate team. But those boys proved otherwise. Its funny that even though Mesa hasn't seen a state champion game for a while, the spirit and support for our football team is unlike any other school. Though winning is great, Mesa High students and alumni continue to show great support and love for each other even in the times we lose. We stick it though during the thick and thin. We are so proud of those boys, and humbled that we were able to participate in the state champions. Carry On Mesa High! Carry On!!!!