Friday, November 11, 2011

Atascadero-Paso Football Game 2011

Tonight I attended the 2011 addition of the Atascadero High School Greyhounds versus the Paso Robles High School Bearcats rivalry game at War Memorial Stadium in Paso Robles, CA. I misunderstood when the game started and left home for the game late. Adding to my lateness was the fact I elected to walk to the game from my home eight blocks away. Consequently, I arrived just in time for halftime. The Greyhounds jumped out to an early 13-0 lead in the first quarter but the Bearcats outscored the Greyhounds 14-0 in the second quarter to take a one point lead at halftime. In the second half the two teams exchanged scores but the Greyhounds attempted a 2-point conversion to make up the difference from their missed PAT kick in the first half misfired and found themselves down by two points 19-21 early in the 4th quarter. Later, the Bearcats added another touchdown to pad their lead to 28-19 which would be the final score. The crowd was smaller and more subdued than usual due to the weather.A cut-off low pressure system that arrived earlier in the day saturated the field by game time and continued to douse the field throughout most of the game. I noticed several things have changed over the years since my playing days for the Greyhounds (1985-1988). One of those things was that the weather even played a role in how many folks showed up at the game. Twenty years or more ago the weather would not have affected the attendance and enthusiasm of the crowd. Of course, it did not help that the Bearcats are lousy this year and that the Greyhounds are mediocre and came into the game with barely a chance of making the playoffs and those chances are even slimmer as a result of losing tonight.

Halftime quietude on the field.
This was a mud bowl and the conditions greatly effected the game.
The visitor side of the field was empty compared to how it used to be in my day.
The halftime score continued halfway through the 3rd quarter.
The rain poured down steadily for much of the game interspersed with periods of drizzle.
The Greyhounds gathering for the 3rd quarter with little energy.
The Greyhounds lacked any fire as was the case in the game here two years ago.
It was clear in this game who was playing and who was not by how muddy the uniform.
The visitor sideline was a muddy morass.
The Bearcats drew first blood in the second half.
It seems to me there are fewer players and more cheerleaders than in my day.
Professional photographers shot by an amateur photographer.
The home crowd bleachers were not even close to being packed as was the case in my day.
The Greyhounds struck back early in the 4th but missed the 2-point conversion.
By this point late in the 4th quarter the inevitable outcome was apparent.
These games used to be electric in my playing days but no more it seems. .
By this point the Greyhounds needed two scores too late in the game.
The final score of the game.

All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)


  1. Kimmer, ah the memories, thanks for sharing. You brought back a lot of thoughts from our past. I remember being a junior and standing on the sidelines with a clean uniform during a muddy game and just hoping to get in so I could get my unifrom dirty. Yeah, the crowds are small now. Coach Welsh definitely made football big, not just at Atascadero, but he elevated football as a whole on the central coast. By the way, one of those cheerleaders is my niece -J'Nae McNamara.

  2. in my day family's where always at the games no matter what. the bleachers were always packed what happened to town involement?

  3. Good pics but I was hoping you got some of the victors sliding in the mud after the win! Great way to end the season for the Mighty Mighty Bearcats!

  4. No more Welch, no more Stansbury : (

    The Pac-7 has been in tough divisions for the last 10 years. No Divisional chmapionships, maybe this year with AG hitting on all cylinders.

  5. Kenny: I'm glad you enjoyed it... which one is your niece?

    Anonymous #1: The North County has changed, to wit, less small-town feel and more of the White Flight from the Bay Area and La-La Land who do not appreciate the football traditions as well as brown folks whom work on all the vineyards in the area now many of whom are fans of futbol, not football.

    Anonymous #2: I left the game right before they players did that but I did see it through the chainlink fence as I walked down Vine Street on the way home and regretted I had not stayed longer but being a Greyhound I had not felt like bathing myself in the Bearcats victory afterglow. However, that would have made a great photo and I regret missing it.

    Anonymous #3: No more Kelly Moore, either! Rich Shimpke is a real good coach I'd feel and always seems to make the best of whatever talent and strange circumstances he has to deal with... think of the controversy last years when one of his assistant coaches attempted to murder that coach's pregnant wife or girlfriend (can't remember which). Shimpke always seems to outfox Coach Cooper. Shimpke was one of my JV coaches at Atascadero in the Fall of 1986. He was a guru then of noticing little details during the game and making great defensive adjustments.

  6. I realize its a little late to be posting a reply, however, with the All-Star Game being assembled, the subject resurfaced. Unless you spent a couple games in the stands, the story of this season may be a mystery... or so it seems. I'm a Greyhound, class of 89. My son, class of 2012 played on this team. The starting QB since the AYFL Jr Team that swept the superbowl in AG (except 2011 when he supported the Sr as starting QB, he could be heard saying, "its not my time, this is his (jessi) year, next year is our year." Their story is long and begins with hope and ends with heartache for every senior on this team. You're right. You did not imagine the change on and off the field. Things have changed. Everyone was excited, giddy with anticipation of the 2011-2012 Football season. The team had high hopes. Everyone had been gearing up for this team to go all the way. They were undefeted as a JV team, and the starters more or less had been playing together since Bantams. This team is why the AYFL Mayors Cup, Atascadero vs Paso, was cancelled. They spanked Paso for 3 years running (trophy still sits in Mayors office with this boys name as MVP) so, Paso didn't want to play anymore. This team played against AG & VanDerBeem, each year and won each of those games, including 2010 and 2011. What happened? The starting senior QB was pulled to play safety (after being the starter all thru summer 7 on 7, after being asked by the media during game 1, scrimmage vs santa ynez, how it felt to be the varsity QB after all these years playing... the player answered "I have been coming to friday nite games since i was a kid, waiting for my time to lead this team of my brothers to a CIF title. its our time) If that wasnt bad enough, he was asked to get the sophmore QB ready for the next 2 years... "make him as good as you." Yes thats rights. Unfortunately, respect for the coaches was lost immediately, players protested by turning in their jerseys to the athletic office, the seasons Athlete of the Year refusing to practice, the elders threatening to quit... all the players (Jr and Sr) were losing their minds, all except the kid just lost his dream of leading the team to CIF. The kid who paid his dues, waited his turn, was respectful and had more heart for the team than anyone. The starting Sr QB, who got moved to safety. He took the high road and put the team first. He not only put a rest to anyone quiting, he was the only player who stood by the sophmore and helped him thru the plays, (he had trouble remembering them) tried to teach him to communicate with his men and show responsibility vs placing blame, when a play fell thru. He could be heard saying, "come on man, it all starts and finishes with u. when ur brothers fail, u fail." He supported the QB, when he was sacked for the 7th time in a single drive, with the "you got this" and "come on man, its fine, shake it off." The Atascadero High School coaching staff dumped the season to prepare for the next 2. Needless to say, Greyhound fans, youth coaches, friends and family had enough by the time Paso rolled around. Why bother? The coaches dumped the season, they dumped the team that Coach Joe Davis hailed "could take us all the way", they dumped the team that had promising futures, college glances the year before, and couldn't wait to take the field, behind their QB... in a nutshell, they took their heart. Atascadero High School Football will never be the same for me. I cant throw a rock in any direction without hearing about how pissed off that person is about the season. Go ahead, I challenge you... ask around about the season. Concenses will say "the coaches f***ed up."