Christmas Came Early For Me

Published: Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 09:15 AM.

            44 played hurt. You can’t underestimate that. Chad didn’t hardly speak to anyone, but you should see this young man’s smile. Reggie tweaked my vocal cords at times. AP worried me some. He is young and carefree……but he is also a football player. Natrone got hurt in the Jefferson game. What a loss! And yet our guys never missed a beat. Carter, who is a mite undersized, got hit in that game about as hard as anyone I’ve ever seen. When he staggered to the sidelines I asked him if he was alright. “Yes sir, I’m small coach, I’m used to getting hit hard.” That’s some “life stuff” you can’t learn drinking a coke and thumbing on your iPad.

            And here’s some good news. Our young seventh, eighth and ninth graders are growing. They had some tough Mondays, let me tell you! I don’t think they were in love with the chutes, ropes or the sled. But they are making the adjustments. Keith, a first timer, Robert and JB stayed with me every day after practice for a “little more work”. I told’em they were terrible when the season started. They have improved to just bad. That’s progress!

            Shoot, Stringbean and Du were the best managers in our division.

            Winning eight games was a great accomplishment. And these guys will be 2013 District Champions FOREVER! But that was only a small thing in a bigger picture. I saw young men grow in grace, stature, behavior, humbleness, character and outlook. We laughed more than we cried. We triumphed more than we stumbled. We hugged more than we fussed.

            We were, in the end, a team.

            And, along the way, they were exceedingly kind to an old coach who applauded their accomplishments, took encouragement from their efforts and appreciated their friendship. For that, I will be forever grateful. And guys, I will never forget a single one of you. Thanks for the ride.


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