As the snow falls at the command of gravity, one group of young athletes here at DHS will be training hard to fight gravity during the winter months. These hardened sportsmen of the Deerfield High School Foot-bagging team began daily practices last week and I was given the pleasure of sitting down and watching them.

I must say that I have been quite excited about this up and coming Xtreme sport since I watched my home country of Latvia take gold, silver, bronze, and iron in the Footbag competitions during the last summer Olympics. Even though they were the only country to compete since all other competitors had failed to pass their drug tests, it was still a great honor. While the footbag players at our school, or “Hack Bagger Boys” as they like to call themselves, may not yet be at the Olympic level, it is still quite a spectacle to see them practice.

I was introduced to all the members of the team; but for some reason, in case they need to get each other’s attention quickly while they hacky their sacks, they all have one syllable code names. There is Laser, the captain of the sackers. If I remember correctly, there was Toe Nail, Bag-Master, Pillowcase, Lord Dragon Xiuquoix and Bob.

I had arrived early enough to watch them put on their safety gear, which consisted of just a beanie cap, and in some cases, a poncho. They put on their radio headsets, which later just turned out to be iPods. And they began to practice.

While I myself am not an avid foot-bagger, I am sure that a professional could tell the difference between their practice drills. The time flew past as we laughed, cried, frowned, scowled, stared, giggled, sneezed, ate, slept, woke up, ate again and then washed our hands together.

The one image that really stuck with me was that of one of the sacks mid-flight bursting with color and small beans or pieces of plastic or whatever is in those things. Look for future announcements of Foot-bagging competitions in and around our school.

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