Friday Night Lights: Divisional Playoffs

Friday Night Lights: Divisional Playoffs

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On November 3rd, I arrived at Fenton High School excited for the grudge match of Fenton versus Flushing High School for the divisional playoffs.

Since Flushing High School is my alma mater--I graduated from there in 1984--this was a personal match for me. I have lived in Fenton for 20 years, and both of my children graduated from Fenton.  I know kids and parents on both sides of the game, so the emotional stakes were high. Add in the fact that this was the first divisional playoff appearance for Flushing, and you could feel the excitement in the air.

The game kept everyone on their toes. It started off in favor of the Flushing High School Raiders, who went up early, but the Fenton Tigers came back to tie the game in the second half. There were just 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter when Flushing sealed the game, scoring the game-winning touchdown. It was the first time Flushing beat Fenton since 1997, so it was a huge deal for the team.

Here is what the local news had to say about the victory:

In the postseason, the Raiders have grown into giant killers.

Flushing took down its second powerhouse program in two weeks, stunning Fenton 28-21 to capture the Division 2 district championship in what has swiftly become a memorable playoff run.

"This was a total team victory," Flushing coach Robert Oginsky said. "It was hard-fought, all four quarters."

I was able to capture the catch and the moment they reached over the goal line for the win--my two favorite images of the night. This is the reason I love sports photography: a single moment like that makes all the difference, and I’m able to capture that forever on film.

In addition to the game itself, I loved getting to see Fenton’s band at the halftime show. They played a medley of favorite pop songs that the crowd all loved. My son played in the marching band under Andy Perkins, the director, who is also a friend of mine, so it was great to see that the band is still just as amazing.

I also enjoyed getting to see some friends from high school that had come out for the game. A lot of them had kids on the football team. A few of my kids’ friends and other parents I knew from their high school years were there as well, adding a personal element to the photography I thoroughly enjoyed.

I love shooting high school sports. The kids pour their heart and soul into it--from the practices to the game. They play for the love of the game and for their school, and I am always thrilled to be able to capture those moments. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience to follow these kids’ careers through high school and beyond--both athletically and academically. They’ll remember these victories for a lifetime, and I’m so proud to play a small part in that.

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