About Team Spirit Stories

Team Spirit Stories: Adventures Ahead

This site is first and foremost a grand experiment and project from the heart.  I have no idea where this coming Spring NYS Season will take us, but in the spirit of the mythological story “Jason and the Argonauts”, I am certain it will be a grand adventure for everyone that jumps on board.

This is a video and photo blog website that will be the platform to tell the evolving story of the 2010 Spring Football season for the Scottsdale Argonauts National Youth Sports (NYS) football club.  Think of it as a living documentary that will grow by the stories that are posted throughout the season, but more importantly by the interactions, commentary and video submissions that can be added by you as a subscriber to this site.  It is my hope as the pre-season starts this February that visitors to this site will engage in the story and share your experiences as a player, family member, coach or fan.  I encourage you to register, receive blog updates and offer your feedback on the various stories that come from this remarkable season ahead of us.

JOIN THE JOURNEY

Take some time to poke around the site.  At the bottom of each story you will find Subscription and share links.  New Blog entries will be featured on the home page as they come available.  Stories will also be categorized by theme or content and you will be able to locate a story or photo blog easily on the right sidebar menu.  Dedicated pages for the nine Argo teams are available in the upper menu tabs and will grow throughout the season.  If you are interested in advertising or sponsoring this project please let us know.

BACKGROUND

I am a team dad.  My eldest son Ben has been playing on the Argonauts, if memory serves, since the fall of 2006.  It seems like forever.   My youngest son Lucas played his first season in the fall of 2008.  There will likely be a lot of talk about the Argo Family in this blog because the secret of success here in the Argo club appears to be the bonding of family that happens on and off the field.  There is the Argo family brotherhood that happens between players on the field and a dedication to family that happens between player and parent – committing their time and resources to being a part of the club.  Fundamentals of football and good coaching aside,  I believe it is this “secret ingredient” of family spirit that fuels the success of the Argos club.

In the spring of 2009 Jason and his team of coaches had enough players to fill 7 teams from Minor to Senior leagues. Although I was only setting out to photograph my own son’s team that season, when I saw the Argo machine at work with near 100 kids on that first Saturday – I was hooked into the story.  It is an event.  From that day on, every Saturday was sunrise to sunset Argo Football.   Not a bad Saturday in my book. We took 3 teams to the National Championship tournament in June and our undefeated Minor teams came home with a National Championship title. Over the course of 6 months I took over 35,000 pictures, established TeamSpiritGallery.com to post photos, and now – as we move to another Spring with 9 teams – its time to tell the bigger story behind Jason and the Argonauts and the legacy of one of the best youth sport programs out there today.

PASSAGES IN YOUTH FOOTBALL

One of the wonderous discoveries I found following and photographing youth football, and one of the things I want to reflect through Team Spirit Stories is how dramatically our players change over the course of 6 months.  Perhaps it is because I am a father of 15 and 13 year old sons, and I see the dramatic changes in them, but this perspective has been enhanced when I look at an array of photographs of one or more of our Argo players from the first day of registration to the last day of the National Championship. This is a powerful time in their lives when our boys are becoming men.  Aside from the often dramatic physical maturity that is evident, something else is emerging in the boys as they engage in the sport of football.

I have always appreciated the idea that boys (and girls) benefit from a rite of passage experience at this particular age.  Although there is a multitude of ways to define a rite of passage culturally and religiously, it is fundamentally a test of a young persons strength, will and determination in a quest to seek wisdom and knowledge from the bigger world around them.  It is a challenge to body, mind and spirit that propels them forward further into the path of adulthood.  This is the surprise that I found while watching the Argos through a long lens across the field.  While looking to capture the next Sports Illustrated cover, I discovered there is more to Argo Football then meets the eye.

So here we are setting sail through the Spring of 2010 with Jason and the Argonauts. It is purely by chance that coach Jason has a team called the Argonauts, and it is only through my own propensity for such associations, that I find a fitting relevance between our team and the mythological story of a band of seafaring warriors that fight harpies, and Cyclops in search of some sacred wisdom.   We have a destination in our sites – San Diego NYS National Championship tournament in June of 2010 and crowns for each division of  Argo represented.  This is the quest and the story we will tell along the way.

ENJOY!