Tonight I was at the Tacoma Dome to shoot Naselle playing in their first ever state semifinal football game. Unfortuntely the Comets couldn't muster enough offense in the second half for the win (though they did make it close, 18-13) eventually falling to the Napavine Tigers who will now play for the 2B state title next week.
And while I'm sure that there is a great feeling conclusion for the players, coaches and fans, I too came away with a bit of a feeling of finality as well. I've covered this team pretty closely for the last two years as they have set school records for team success on the gridiron and it's a little sad to see it end, especially a game away from the championship, but like I said, I know it is waaaay harder for the players obviously. In the next week I plan to edit down what I hope will be some of the best and most story-telling images from the over 16,000 I've shot of the team this season to put together a photo essay on the season.
As a parting shot, I have to say, the Tacoma Dome sucks! This is the first time I've ever shot a game inside, and only the second time I've been in it period (the other time was to watch the minor league hockey team Tacoma Sabercats play their final game like 10 years ago). The lighting is cooky, though better than the stadium lights at many high schools. The air is dry and funny smelling. The event staff is ridiculous as to where you can be and not be. I don't know, I just coudn't get into much of a rhythm shooting-wise. I think I made a few good frames, but not many despite the fact that I really wanted to, for at least the team's sake if not my own.
I have to say though, I really feel lucky to have been afforded the kind of access that I have gotten from the team and its coaches over the last two years. It's very cool to be treated like you belong in a situation like this, but it's even better in my profession when people are so accustomed to you being there that they don't even pay you any mind, which more often than not this team has done, and I wanted to say thanks!
Below is the gallery I put together for Friday Night Sights, if you wanted to check that out.