(You know the rest...) Covered Monroe-Woodbury vs. New Rochelle Class AA State Quarterfinal game at Dietz Satdium up in Kingston, NY on Saturday night. Kingston. Dietz. In the dark. Rain. The state's two top schools in Class AA football squaring off in the mist and on the rain soaked turf. This too was a game about being prepared. Rain pants & a few hand towels were additions to my on-field gear allotment. On the first play from scrimmage, MW running back Trevor Officer ran for a 49-yard touchdown. (right) Shooting from my knees as always and from the far end zone, I had him coming right at me on the diagonal across the field. Sort of guessed right again, as something just told me to head for the end zone after the Monroe's return of the opening kickoff. The game started out with all the excitement and up-tempo we all knew could happen at this level of HS playoff competition. I don't think there was anyone in the ballpark who wasn't into this game. I mean even the bus drivers and EMS crew outside the fences were peering in. Although I was down to only two working cameras (2 older Canon EOS-1D's are still in for repair) I felt like I could adequately cover this game with a EOS-1D and the slower 5D-MKII. Trying to shoot sports with the 5D-MKII presents it's own set of limitations like the slower motor drive and sketchy autofocus, but that's the sacrifice for the camera's capability to shoot at exceptionally high ISO's (easily at ISO 3200 & sometimes even ISO 4000+) which I'd done numerous times with this camera on the street and sporting events. The mist and rain introduce a whole new set of challenges - just as in previous games here in Kingston as well as the Army - Rutgers game at West Point a few weeks ago. I know now it's mandatory that I update my full rain gear after this season's coverage.
Back to the game: New Rochelle clearly brought their "A-Game." Not that Monroe-Woodbury wasn't ready - it's just that I'm probably a little jaded in covering them the last three years. The Hugenots of New Rochelle were quicker, stronger, and hit harder. I remember a few coaches from another school on the sidelines comment, "They (NR) want it more..." In fact, during his post game interview, MW quarterback Dan Scalo (left) even said, "They hit hard..." I've seen Scalo take some horrendous, bone crushing hits and get right back up and run for positive yardage. For the year he had something like 1,400+ yards rushing and threw for 20 touchdowns I believe.
*(more to come on this game recap and the end of Monroe-Woodbury's season.)
Click this link to view a slideshow on my take from the game. -cg.