KLEW Sports Director still catching his breath after practice with LC-Valley Loggers

LEWISTON, ID - One of the beautiful things about the L-C Valley Loggers Football team is how its given a second chance to area kids to play ball again after not having played in a few years.

But what happens when you get a guy out there who hasn't played in well over a decade? I decided to find out by joining the Loggers for one of their practices.

The L-C Valley Loggers have players that range from around 18 to 25-years-old. I'm 32...that's around when most running backs are retiring from the NFL. Regardless, I was fortunate enough to be asked by the Loggers to come out for one of their practices to see if I still got it. After stretching for what seemed like a few days, I was ready to rock.

"Well, it's been about 12-years...let's see if I have anything left," said Matt Sizemore.

As I jumped in the rotation with the receivers and right ends, it was obvious how much I forgot routes and had certainly lost a step, despite my mind still telling me to run like I was 21 again. My 4.7 40-yard dash time from a decade ago seemed to turn itself around into a 7.4, but at least I could still catch. Overall, it seemed to go pretty well.

"Oh you were awesome Matt, I mean, you just did fantastic," said Coach Gene Straughan. "Got a little tired, ran good routes, caught the football. That's all I can ask for."

Okay maybe I did better than I thought, or else maybe Coach Straughan just has a very sarcastic sense of humor.

"You should really consider turning out for the Loggers," said Straughan. "You could probably even play middle linebacker. You should see this guy, he's got muscles!"

Ok, we'll go with sarcastic, no matter how uplifting. I asked coach about my strengths as an old man on the field.

"You're just a big, strong guy, you go down the...I like big tight ends, kinda like the Bill Belichick tight end," said Straughan. "You know everybody kinda just falls asleep and you have him block and block and block and then you send him down the route and Matt those little safeties I think they would see you and they would run away from you. That was your best thing and then you caught the ball well. When we threw it well, you caught the ball well. He's got game, I'm telling you!"

As I was dying to catch my breath, I think I knew what my biggest weakness out there was.

"You know, just a little tired, I didn't see a weakness, I mean I saw things that you could get better at, but I didn't see a weakness," said Straughan.

As nice as Coach Straughan's words were, he under exaggerated how tired I really was.

"Weight lifting's great but it ain't cardiovascular," said Straughan.

Well, as much fun as I had being out there, it was great to see the players having fun and getting better every snap. It was an experience I wouldn't trade for anything.

"It was great," said Straughan. "You worked hard and got us pumped up. You can come out and play with us anytime you want and I know Coach Schumacher thinks the same thing."

I might keep that in mind after a little more running. Until then, go Loggers!

Just want to throw another big thank you out to the Loggers for having me come out and play. And yes, I'm still tired.

The team will play their first official game this Saturday at Pacific University at 1:00 p.m.

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