My name is Kelly, and this blog was made for The Daily Local News' iJournalist Project.

 

Still a Successful Squad

Yesterday, in an unpredictable match-up of high school football, Henderson High School lost to fellow West Chester school Bayard Rustin in the 2nd round of PIAA AAAA Football playoffs. Going into the final quarter, the Henderson Football team was up with a 20-14 lead, and trying to lock in the victory. Everything changed in that crucial final quarter though, and Rustin came back from their shortfall by scoring 3 touchdowns in the final 10 minutes of play. Rustin took home the win with a score of 35-14, but both teams fought hard. After the game, I took some time to chat with two Henderson senior players, Defensive Lineman Kevin Cosby-Reed and Linebacker Darius James so they could reflect on this game and their final season playing Henderson Football.

How did the team feel going into the game yesterday? Did you think you were going to come out with the win?

Darius: We were very confident going into the game. We had long practices all week and have been watching film preparing for Saturday. We all thought we were going to win once Saturday came.

Kevin: Yes, we felt very pretty confident going into the game yesterday that we could come out with a win. We were pretty close the first game [playing Rustin in the regular season], so we worked hard during the week and were feeling good going into the game.

With such confidence about the win, where do you guys think you went wrong on the field? Or was Rustin just the better team in this case?

Darius: Don’t get me wrong, Rustin is a great football team and is well-coached over there but everyone makes mistakes and there were a couple on Saturday [on our part]. At some points of the game, we just couldn’t execute the way we wanted to on both sides of the ball.

Kevin: I think we beat ourselves this time. I don’t want to take anything away from Rustin because they’re a good football team, but we went into the 4th quarter with the lead and just made mistakes and couldn’t keep the lead.

Even though you lost this game, there was definitely a lot of success this football season in other aspects. What you do you think you and the rest of the team are most proud of?

Darius: Having a chance to get into the playoffs was amazing by beating Downingtown East. Things were consistently going well for us and we beat Ridley the following week. I would have to say beating Ridley shocked a lot of people so that was a great experience.

Kevin: There is certainly a lot to be proud of and a lot of good came out of this season. We started 5-0, went on a 3 game skid, but picked it up by beating Avon grove and Downingtown East to get into the playoffs. The biggest thing though, would have to be the win against Ridley. Hostile environment, being the 16th seed, no one thought we could win- but we did.

Most memorable moment or thing you’re going to miss most about Henderson football?

Darius: Playing Friday night games under the lights. There is nothing like playing high school football.

Kevin: That’s a tough question, but I think my most moment would probably be the wins versus Downingtown East and Ridley. They were the two biggest games I’ve ever played in. I’m going miss all my teammates and coaches as well. I couldn’t have asked for a better senior season.

Do you have any predictions for next year’s team and any advice for them?

Darius: Next year’s team will be very talented because a lot of starters will be coming back with great talent and know what they are doing. My advice for them is to never give up and play your heart out every single play.

Kevin: Next year’s team has a lot of varsity experience coming back. We had a lot of underclassmen playing for us this season and they played their hearts out all year. I predict they’ll make another push for ches-monts and playoffs next year.

Final thoughts or things you’d like to say?

Darius: I would like to thank a great coaching staff for a good season. They all work so hard to prepare us for game. The coaches didn’t just coach us up on things related to football but to everyday life also. Without them, our great success wouldn’t have been possible.

Kevin: It has been an honor and a pleasure to play 4 years of high school football for Henderson. I couldn’t see myself playing at any other school or for any other coaching staff. There’s nothing like being a Warrior. Even though our season ended earlier then I would’ve liked, it was the best year of football I’ve ever had. Thanks to all the fans and parents who supported all year. I love this team and I’ll never forget these guys.

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Even though the Warriors couldn’t win, it’s good to see a fellow West Chester team continue to fight for the Championship. I believe that if it can’t be my own high school winning, at least it can be West Chester. Best of luck to Rustin in their next game on Friday.

Things

Currently Listening to: Is this It? by The Strokes

Currently Excited About: My daylight-savings time +1 hour of sleep :)

Currently Bummed About: Cold Weather really starting!

I think you should check out: The Andrew L. Hicks Jr. Foundation

I know I am horrible at updating. But I will do better - promise! In my defense, senior year is no short of busy. Work, school, applying to college, and trying to maintain a social life truly consumes me. And to add to my agenda, I am now a finalist in the Girl’s Speaking Contest at Henderson. What is the Girls Speaking Contest, you ask? Well, it is a tradition at Henderson to host a contest every fall where 10 females recite a memorized piece of published writing (2.5-3.5 minutes) and perform it for the school. Best performance wins. It’s as simple as that. There are 3 rounds during this process. The first round consists of over 100 people auditioning, reciting short, thirty second piecez. The second round about 30 people, reciting two, 1 minute long pieces with contrasting themes, and then the final 10 girls are announced. Every year I have auditioned I make it to round two, but never to the final competition, so I am very proud to have finally made it this year. Now the big question is what will I recite? Not sure yet, but I will keep you updated.

Putting Things in Perspective

Today, I woke up at 7AM, annoyed by the sound of my alarm clock and the fact that I had to make my way to work. Hours later, I drove through busy Exton to make a stop to the post office, and was peeved by all the traffic causing me a delay. Things only got worse for me when my car broke down, leaving me to rely on one of my coworkers to come and rescue me and help me get back to the office. To top everything off, after contacting my mom to let her know about the endeavor with my car, she informed me that there was no running water or air conditioning in my house, and neither of them would be fixed for a good amount of time; “at least for tonight”, she said. I was so bitter. 'What a horrible day' was all I could think to myself.

The day was winding down and I was still in my selfish state of sulking, when I logged on to Facebook to entertain my temporary boredom while sitting at work, waiting for the verdict on my AC and water. My home page loaded, and all over it were words like “Rest in Peace Andrew” and “You will be Missed Andrew” - all messages my friends had posted. I panicked. What was happening? All these people must be mistaken. Why was everyone writing messages to Andrew Hicks, the boy who sat next to me in Pre-Calculus, the boy who sat with me on the bus in middle school, the boy I had called a friend and a great guy for nearly seven years? What was this all about? A phone call confirmed my greatest fear; Andrew Hicks was someone I’d never get to speak to again. “He was on vacation with his family in California and he fell when he was hiking. He fell off a pretty big cliff” was the information I received. I was in shock. Losing someone is never an easy thing, but this was so unreal. Andrew was so young, and had so much going for him. The way he left the world was nothing short of heartbreaking and tragic.

So here I lay, two hours after hearing the news about my dear friend and classmate, and I just can’t bring myself to sleep, let alone sit comfortably in my bed. All day, I thought my day was so horrible and I had it so bad- the traffic, my car breaking down, the inconvenience of my water and air conditioner breaking- but in reality, I had it so, so good. I lived this day fully, able to see the world around me, spend time with my friends and family, and tonight, I can lay my head on my pillow, knowing that I have a future ahead of me, even if it’s only one more day. Andrew is someone who can’t say that anymore. I am ashamed at how I’ve lost the notion of being grateful for every day, including the days where I’m sitting in traffic and finding things to complain about. Life is a precious, precious gift that I’m sad to say I often take advantage of. Andrew’s death, the death of a son, brother, friend, teammate, and family member is truly a heartbreaking thing that I would never, ever wish upon anyone, but I still think there is something to be learned from every situation handed to us, including this one. You can’t take anything for granted. “Death is the great clarifier; it shows us what is important.” -Kubler-Ross

As for Andrew, although his time was cut short, the time he did have was truly well-spent. I’ve always thought fondly of him, and I don’t know anyone who ever didn’t. He had a wonderful sense of humor, a good head on his shoulders, a caring heart, and a great smile. I know his strong faith in Jesus and his truly beautiful personality will guide him to wherever he is meant to be now that he is gone from this Earth.

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A Busy Summer

Currently Listening to: Never Going Back Again by Fleetwood Mac

Currently Excited About: The Weekend

Currently Bummed About: So much summer reading to do in so little time

Late on the update, I know. My summer has been nothing short of busy though. I work part-time (you might as well call me full-time during the summer though) at an independent engineering company in Exton, called Test Products, Inc. We test/evaluate Standby Power Systems for telecommunication companies such as Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and even financial corporations like JP Morgan Chase. We test all around the Country (Hawaii this past March, California next week) and TPI has even done work as far away as Tokyo. These systems have giant batteries… like 52 volts… that’s not your average AA Duracell Battery. So my job consists of a lot of data entry from what’s collected on-site, along with other office tasks. It’s a great opportunity and I have been able to learn so much in the 3+ years I have worked here. I spend a lot of time here but it’s definitely worth it. Coincidentally, I have forgotten to update my blog because of it!

I do spend a lot of time at TPI (I am actually at TPI right now) but I want to do more with my summer! My best friend Meredith and I have compiled a small to-do list for the summer in which I am determined to complete. I will share it with you all later!

Gary Papa Walk/Run

Current listening to: Look at Me (Acoustic) By John Lennon

Currently Excited about: My long lost sister who lives in Washington, D.C. coming home for a visit.

Currently Bummed about: This killer headache.

Onto the blog…

Need plans for Father’s Day? The Annual Gary Papa Father’s Day Prostate 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Fun Walk is being held tomorrow morning at 8:30AM outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This event will help to benefit prostate cancer research and awareness, which is a great thing.

As many people know, 6abc News Anchor Gary Papa lost his battle with prostate cancer last year. He was not only a public figure- he was a father, a coworker, and a friend, just like many people who suffer from prostate cancer.

Two women from the office where I work, Lucy and Joelleen, will be walking in the race. Lucy’s step-dad, Bruce, who also a dear family friend, is currently recovering from a battle with prostate cancer. It’s wonderful to have Bruce and I could not imagine not having him around. Bruce is winning his battle, which is a huge blessing, but not everyone is as lucky with this horrible disease.

No one deserves the sentence that cancer gives them, whether they win the battle or not. If you are interested in running, follow this link.

If you are interested in donating money to the cause, please donate to Lucy’s Donations Page or Joelleen’s Donations Page.