Gregory Heffley, the anti-heroic protagonist of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, thought middle school should be divided by height and weight instead of academic ability to avoid bullying.
His observations have been pointedly spot-on for Lighthouse Church School flag football this season. Drawing on a miniature school population of 60, they have stitched together a team to face towering muscle-bound opponents.
So the Lilliputians from Lighthouse took on another set of Gullivers and lost Tuesday 20-26 against Turning Point School at McManus Park.
“We had a great game. We stopped them on defense,” said LCS Coach Nate Scribner. “We lost by one touchdown, and that touchdown was my fault. They scored on an interception that was my fault. We made better blocks today. We have sixth graders playing against all these older guys.”
Lighthouse is just this year re-starting its flag football program. With inexperienced players jumbled together, it’s been difficult to get everyone doing their job proficiently. Sometimes kids run the wrong play. Blocking has been a downfall.
But through the patient work of the coaches, the team has slowly improved. In a game against Westside Neighborhood School on Sept. 29, the Saints strung together their first progression of plays leading to a touchdown.
Then on Oct. 6 against Crossroads B, they won.
Before half time, the Saints were marching in towards victory 12-7 when coach tried to score just more touchdown to fortify their lead. The fateful pass got picked, and the Saints were trailing at the half 14-12.
In the second half, the Tornadoes — with one player at 5’11” and two players almost as tall — were the first to score, but the Saints responded with a TD and with extra points tied the game at 20-20.
Turning Point scored and then time ran out on the Lighthouse push to counter the score.
“The kids should hold their heads up high,” Coach Nate said. “They pulled a lot of flags. Our guys are just beginning to grow and just beginning to figure out how to run. They played great. I hope they had fun. We should only remember those plays that worked right.” This story originally appeared on the Santa Monica Patch here.