By Jacob Bembry
A cold December night. 20 degrees in Monticello, Florida and I am standing outside in the freezing cold.
I am in the west end zone at Tiger Memorial Stadium. The place is packed. Fans from Jefferson County are here as the Fighting Tigers host the 1982 Class AA state football championship. We are all cold. The fans who have made the trek from Clewiston have to be even colder than we are. To a point, we are all used to it because when it gets cold in Monticello, it feels like the coldest place on Earth, even if it is in the Sunshine State.
The game is a nail biter and Clewiston is leading until our All-American tailback James Massey crashes into the end zone, tying the score.
Massey is also the kicker on extra points but all season long, the Tigers have run for two-point conversions and almost every time, the Tigers have converted those two-point conversions. This time, however, Tiger Head Coach Blair Armstrong makes the decision to kick the extra point. The Clewiston Tigers’ defense is tough, like the Jefferson defense. In close games, you play your cards close to the vest.
The Jefferson Tigers go for the kick. Randy Dixon, Clewiston’s All-American defensive tackle, jumps off sides, which is good because the kick was bad. Surely, we will go for the two-point conversion now.
Nope. Coach Armstrong calls for the kick again. Center Ricky Watson snaps the ball over quarterback Kelly Lynch’s head. Massey picks up the football and tries running with it but he has a kicking shoe on and for one of the few times all season, he is stopped dead in his tracks.
The game ends in a tie. Fans from both sides were expecting a tiebreaker. Assistant Coach Bill Brumfield (who would later become Jefferson County High School superintendent) runs alongside the fences telling everyone to go home. The game is over.
That game ended in disappointment for me and thousands of other fans that night. We were state champions and both teams played with all their heart but we had to share the title. A tie. The game was over.
Don’t let your life end in disappointment. Get out and enjoy your family and things while you can. If you are not a Christian, give your life to the Lord today.