So Close

I don't get too upset about sports. I don't really get involved in stats, players, wins, losses, or anything like that. But somehow, when you spend most of your Friday nights with a high school football team and they end their season with a close loss, it's really pretty heartbreaking. high school football team loss

I travelled up to Kansas City to photograph a playoff game for the Rock Bridge High School team versus the local KC team, Rockhurst.

rock bridge high school football

Rock Bridge was definitely the underdog for this game. They haven't been in the playoffs since 2005 and didn't even have the best record this season. On the flip side, Rockhurst won the 6A state championships last year and are a notoriously good team.

rock bridge high school football

I didn't really go to Kansas City expecting much. I expected another whatever football game. I expected Rock Bridge to probably get killed. I would get in there, photograph some action, then head home to northern KC to see my family.

But damn, it was a good game. It was a close game — 10-9. It was a heartbreaking game.

rock bridge high school football

Rock Bridge came into the game on fire. Though it wasn't a high-scoring game, it was an intense one. Rock Bridge was the only scorer in the first half, even scoring with a safety, something almost unheard of in high school football.

rock bridge high school football

And they didn't really lose their fire in the second half — Rockhurst just finally came into the game. Rockhurst scored a touchdown sometime during the third quarter, and it was still anyone's game. And then there was the Rockhurst field goal in the last minute of the game.

After that, there just wasn't enough time. Rock Bridge would lose by one point, ending their season. (Sorry if this synopsis is strange, I'm no sports writer).

rock bridge high school football

And when you're in college, you forget what it was like in high school. You forget how everything — your friends, the dances, your organizations, and sports — mattered so deeply. So, after this loss, the Rock Bridge boys, who had obviously put their all into the game, just broke down. They were all crying.

rock bridge high school football

There's something about a bunch of 16- and 17-year old boys crying that just gets to you — though I cry at Hallmark commercials, Pixar movies, everything. But they were just so sad, so tired and so devastated.

It was hard to take pictures of their sorrow. Though I photographed them all season, it was just so personal and there just seems to be such a stigma of men crying. So I still took pictures, but definitely didn't take as many as I could have.

high school football loss locker room