Gabriel Diaz is the REC Coordinator at Louis Pasteur Elementary in West Elsdon. Gabe also coached flag football this fall, and will coach basketball during the winter season. Gabe played high school basketball at Kennedy, where he averaged 14 points per game his senior year. At Urban Initiatives, we often focus on the big problems of our city: violence, health problems, and academic trouble. It’s easy to forget the victories we have, and will have in the future. Below is Coach Gabe’s reflection on coaching flag football this fall. It should help us remember.
As an athlete myself, I’ve dealt with both great wins and tough losses. A come from behind win is always one that stays with you because you know that you came together as a team to make that happen. Experiencing that from a coaching standpoint is just as great a feeling.
The Pasteur flag football team played a game against Claremont. We were coming off of a loss so the team morale wasn’t that high. When the Claremont kids got off of the bus my team was intimidated, we were completely out sized. They took an early lead and held it the rest of the half. I told the kids to never give up and as long as they played hard and gave it everything they had, it was a win in my book.
They exceeded that goal by coming back in the game and cutting the deficit down to 5 points with a minute and a half left. I called a few key plays and they executed them perfectly. We scored a game winning touchdown on the last play of the game.
There’s no greater feeling seeing kids jump for joy because they stuck together and accomplished a goal that they thought was unreachable.