DIARY: Jimmy St. Louis - The Off Week

After two solid wins in the OVC and chemistry finally forming throughout the team, a much needed off week approached. Most people would wonder why in the world we would want an off week just as the team gets rolling.

The fact is, that we have played seven consecutive games, and a break is much needed if we want to finish this season strong. The off week gave everyone a chance to get their legs back under them and also get caught up on all of our school work. Coach Pannunzio held practice to an intense 10 periods which equaled about an hour per practice. These short but intense practices gave us a chance to really practice hard and get on and off of the field quickly. While we were taking steps ahead as a team, we were also gaining the much needed rest for our final regular season games. I say "regular season" games because making the playoffs is still not out of our hopes. We are now in sole possession of second place and just one game behind Jacksonville State. A win in each of our next two games coupled with one Jacksonville State loss would make us co-conference champions. This would give us the possibility of making the playoffs.

Our team has really grown together over the last couple of weeks. We have had guys go down with injuries and other younger guys step up and do a great job filling some big shoes. To me, the ultimate sign of team chemistry is when something special happens. That is when the team becomes more important and bigger than the individual. Much can be accomplished when you have everybody working toward a common goal. Throughout this season - as with a lot of seasons - we have had some fair weather fans as well as loyal fans. Now that there might be a little spark of success, people want to jump back on board and really show us their support. When it comes down to it, every team has loyal supporters year in and year out no matter what the outcome. In addition, every team also has fans that really only show their support when teams show success. We have realized that as a team, and we are now playing for the pride of our loyal fans, ourselves, our coaches, and our community. Being on a football team is a very special privilege. For all of you who have ever played a sport where camaraderie was so important, then you know what I am talking about. It is a great feeling when you have 85 guys who all care about you and all want to accomplish the same things that you do. We have put ourselves in a situation where we have to continue to play hard throughout all ups and downs, and without any excuses.

My senior season is coming to a close, and I have mixed emotions. Of course I am sad that the game of college football will be over before I know it; however, I am excited about the adventure that football has to offer for me in all the years to come. I feel like I am in great health now, and I am really ready to roll for the final games of our season. Hopefully, that includes games that we might have the opportunity to play in the post season. Once again, thank you to all my readers, and thank you to everyone that has supported me throughout this season. It is an honor to be able to share my life with you from week to week.

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