Here we are, half way through senior year of my youngest child. I really am enjoying the process. Preparation. Anticipation. Excitement. All of these components have soothed the ache that I thought would overwhelm me. Today, we celebrate football by attending the yearly banquet that will commemorate the accomplishments of these young men and the coaching staff. It is four hours of a fanatical, football frenzy. (Say that five times fast.) While I am limited in my fanatics regarding football, it is almost humorous how caught up I can get.
Four hours, you ask? Yes, four hours. There was only one year that it didn’t go that long and that was the only year, when Bryce was a sophomore, that they didn’t bring home the state title. It is four hours of eating, reminiscing, and acknowledging the outstanding players along with bidding farewell to our seniors. This will be our last gathering with our football family.
While my heart is heavy with the knowledge that next year Bryce won’t be on the sidelines, I look forward to the new sidelines that he will occupy. My heart is full of gratitude for all that Bryce has learned as a student trainer from his mentors. I know that this foundation will serve him well as he moves on to the collegiate level. He found his niche that created his own unique high school experience.
So, one last time, we will gather as a team. This is more than football. It is more than an odd shape ball and a helmet. That is just the shell. It is a tradition that builds men of character and men of faith. And while, I will still occupy my spot next year for the games, there will be an empty space. But the tradition will continue and more young men will benefit just like Bryce has. Who would have thought that I would be grateful for football? I certainly wasn’t prepared for that revelation, but as with anything in life, I certainly must expect the unexpected.