Knowing we had lost several games that fall and could not have possibly made play-offs, I turned to my family and asked, "What's all the commotion?"
I was then told how the win put their record at 6-5, giving the team that had five straight losses early on a winning season.
What happened in a year's time from that moment was almost impossible ~ except that it actually happened.
Just over three months following that contest, my parents attended the funeral of one of the very first and finest Rare Breed, gone to soon from heart failure and only in his forties. Afterwards, they went directly to their family doctor, there for the annual physical. The check-up had ended but for one final question from the doctor: "Is there anything you are experiencing that you want to tell me about?"
On any other day, my dad acknowledged that he would have left that office without saying a word.
Instead, something moved him to speak just one life-saving sentence: "Well, I have been having a strange taste in my mouth."
Within the hour, the doctor sent him to the hospital for testing and, days, later, he underwent surgery to remove five blockages to his heart.
First, he turned, as always, to God. Then, he uncharacteristically took the rest of the year off from teaching, spent it doing every single thing the doctor ordered, and recovered in time to dodge what many thought would be inevitable retirement. That July, he was inducted into the Pennsylvania Coaches Hall of Fame in Hershey.
But the story hardly ended there.
Remember that 6-5 team that excessively celebrated its final win the season before?
Well, they and their 68 year-old coach all went back to Hershey the next season and celebrated a whole lot more.
They won the State Title.