The Student News Site of Oakmont Regional High School

The Oakmonitor

Breaking News
  • April 12Winter Pep Rally TODAY!
  • April 12Last Day Before Break!
  • April 11Returning State Champs win their first game back against Leominster (4-3)
The Student News Site of Oakmont Regional High School

The Oakmonitor

The Student News Site of Oakmont Regional High School

The Oakmonitor

Oakmont writers Forbes and Ahearn recognized in prestigious Will McDonough Sports Writing Contest – Writings Here

Senior+Ben+Forbes+left+and+Gage+Ahearn+right
Mark Nevard
Senior Ben Forbes left and Gage Ahearn right

Bleacher section 41  – 2nd PLACE

By Ben Forbes

It’s a chilly evening in April 2014, and you were just a second-grader when your dad purchased bleacher seats in section 41 for your very first Red Sox game. The excitement was palpable. The Red Sox had recently clinched their third World Series title of the 2000s, and you couldn’t wait to see them in action. As you made your way to Fenway Park, you couldn’t help feeling overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the experience. You were too young to comprehend the intricacies of baseball, let alone the technicalities of payroll, luxury tax, and team performance. All you knew was that you would experience Fenway Park for the first time, and you were thrilled to be sharing the moment with your dad.

When you arrived, you were struck by the beauty of America’s Most Beloved Ballpark. Emerging from the bleacher tunnel, the entire field is stretched out before you, and you realize that everything was smaller than you had imagined, except for the imposing Green Monster.  You had a hot dog in your hand, and Wally was painted on your face. You were ready to experience the magic of Fenway Park. The game began, and you cheered on the Red Sox with all your might. You sang along to “Sweet Caroline” and told your dad to stop screaming “Dirty Water” after the win. As you drove home and went off to sleep, you knew you had experienced something truly special. You wished you could go back to section 41 and relive the experience all over again.

2019 brings you back to Kenmore Square and the towering Citgo sign. It is a Monday in mid-April and an 11:00 am start. The remembered motto ‘Boston Strong’ echoes in the streets summoning memories of Big Papi’s inspirational speech of this great city more than the tragic memories of a bloodied Boylston Street.  The pregame ceremony embodies an eerie, somber mix of anger, respect, and pride within the stadium. The anthem resonates a little louder and a little deeper that day in Section 41. The game begins, but you think back to 2013 and Daniel Nava’s home run hit into the bullpen – the first game since the tragedy. Boosting a season unlike any other, for a purpose greater than any other, and for fans better than any other.

You return to Fenway several more times in 2019. In a season that felt like the hangover of a World Series party the October before, you are thrilled you got to watch Chris Sale strike out 17 against the Rockies and have yet another positive Fenway experience from section 41. 

In my sophomore year, the 2021 postseason, the Fenway faithful were still reeling from the departure of Mookie Betts the year before, but the Red Sox were playing good baseball In October. Something that should be expected every year. It was Game 5 of the ALDS, and it was your brother’s last Red Sox game before he was sent to Okinawa to serve the country. You watched as the Red Sox clinched an ALDS series victory together in section 41.

You, like so many passionate sports fans, crave winning again. Without the payroll and ownership, you are still that boy with his dad and a hot dog simply wanting back the real Fenway experience you used to know. When the ownership seemed focused on a championship and everyone around you knew it was only a matter of time until they start winning again.

Now, as you get ready for another season of Red Sox baseball, you can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia. There is a lot of uncertainty around the organization right now, but you know that you’ll be watching from the same spot. You’ll be there with your dad one night – well, several nights – a friend the other, and you’re even willing to go alone. So that you can feel the true Fenway experience from Bleacher section 41.

The Seeds of Greatness – HONORABLE MENTION

By Gage Ahearn

It was first and five. A new quarterback had stepped onto the field, and was ready to take an under-center snap. He gets the snap, drops back, and flings it back up to the line of scrimmage, where his running back is. The football bounces off of his receiver’s helmet and lands on the turf. Second and five.

Was this play not the greatest moment in sports history? Admittedly, it is the type of play which occurs all the time. Trying to find a game without an incompletion is impossible in football as we know it, so how could anyone dare call it the greatest moment in sports?

When you think of greatness, chances are that you’re imagining a moment that had left you in awe, gawking where you stood. You may think of Julian Edleman’s ridiculous Super Bowl catch, or Malcom Butler’s interception a couple years prior. You certainly don’t think of a random regular season incompletion in which the quarterback’s team would ultimately be blown out by a score of 34-9 to the Detroit Lions, and absolutely not a play in a game in a season in which the team (patriots) finished last in their division and was nowhere near a playoff berth.

I’ll concede; I myself do love to relive those great moments, watching in horrible suspense, only to shoot off my couch like a snow-covered miracle off of Adam Vinateri’s foot. But what would that moment mean if it weren’t built upon a series of plays of seemingly lesser importance? Why would a championship miracle even matter without every false start, every incompletion, every tackle at the line, every fumble recovered by the offense, and every quarterback kneel? Everything has a first. 

Sports – and I don’t just mean Football – are less like a series of events, or a collection of games and seasons, but rather a journey, and every journey starts somewhere. The threads that emotionally link millions of people to their favorite teams are far too strong to be cut by the end of a competition. The tears that are shed by the players and the blood lost are no easier to be wiped away than the sting of defeat, or the triumph of victory. With every gameday, every article published, every controversy sparked, the story of the sport grows thicker, and we’re drawn to it all, like moths to a flame. People such as myself do not suit up or get stretched out for games, but even I am a part of this magnificent story, as I make myself a bowl of cereal and sit in my pajamas before the television every Sunday afternoon.

We all know very well that our mistakes make us stronger. If a quarterback comes onto the field and throws a bad pass, it does not make them a lesser quarterback. In fact, upon making a poor play, one may very well be driven to do better. This is especially true in the case of our aforementioned quarterback, who made an anything-but-notable first pass attempt. Judging by a single moment, it is impossible to determine the legacy that a player may leave behind. I can guarantee that he remembered this dropped pass, and countless others even as he went on to win seven Super Bowl titles.

The very same things could be said about the head coach, who was new to the team that very same season. This coach had lost his very first game, and would only win five that season. That surely left a foul taste in his mouth, and over the next two decades, he made sure to wash it out. Bill Belichick knew that true greatness comes from a system of smaller parts that each fulfill their function. It is not just skill players who create the amazing sports moments, rather it is every player fulfilling their purpose. Sure, it may be more fun to watch the backfield on trick plays, but just as much thought goes into the less flashy big guys on the line. Similarly to an incompletion, a pass-block might not be the most entertaining thing to watch, but it is absolutely an integral part of pulling off a great play.

 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Nola Patty, Sports Editor/Photographer
Nola Patty is a part of the Class of 2024 at Oakmont Regional High School. This is her third year being a part of The Oakmonitor. Her main focus on the Oakmonitor page is sports/sports photography. Nola is a member of the Marching Spartans, and she plays lacrosse for the school as well. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, watching hockey, and hanging out with friends. Nola has always wanted to be successful, but she never puts it above having fun and making memories. She enjoys taking photos, capturing happy moments for others, and writing about sports. A long-term goal for her is to work in social media marketing or broadcasting for the NHL. Nola was appointed to the 2024 All-State MASPA Journalist staff.
Mark Nevard, Adviser
Mr. Mark Nevard has been The Oakmonitor staff adviser since 2012.  Again this year, he is fortunate to work with a highly driven staff of experienced and newly joined writers and editors. Nevard enjoys teaching Sports Lit, and Creative Writing along with Journalism.  If he is not editing an article, he is probably enjoying his family, filleting a fish, or routing on the Saints, Rangers, or Nittany Lions.

Comments (0)

All The Oakmonitor Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *