Saturday, November 12, 2011

Victory is sweet indeed!

We are a football family, and this weekend we are celebrating accomplishments worth bragging about.

My youngest son is a junior in high school. He plays guard on the offensive line and does all the short snapping for PAT's and field goals. He also long snaps on occasion. You don't think about the short or long snapper very often. His name doesn't get called. In fact, he's invisible unless he messes up. Then, everyone in the stadium knows who he is. I can say with pride, my son doesn't mess up very often.

Like any good football mom, I beam with pride every Friday night. However, my game day pride goes much deeper than my son's accomplishments on the gridiron. His success on the field every week is a visible, tangible marker of how far he's come in the last six months.

Suffice it to say, young son created some very big problems for himself last school year. Teenagers are wont to do that. Mothers of teenagers are wont to gray hair and bouts of stomach-turning anxiety. Up until the first practice in July, I didn't think I'd ever see him in a football uniform again, and honestly, that would have been okay if that's what he had wanted and not the mess he had made for himself.

To my son's credit, he accepted the consequences of his actions and cleaned up his mess. Things aren't perfect, but he's so far from where he was that I can only be thankful. Every Friday night when he runs out of that tunnel, my heart soars. The cherry on this wonderful cake is that his team is 12-0 and heading into the third round of the playoffs for the state championship. Regardless of whether the team reaches that goal, my family has already won.

An undefeated regular season is a rare, rare thing. I've been married to a football coach for 22 years, so I can say that with some authority. We have been blessed in that the losing seasons have come less often than the winning ones, but we went 2-9 four years straight and suffered the humiliation of losing a job over it. And yes, I do mean "we." Losing a job happens to the whole family.

I'm not complaining. Bruce chose to be a coach, and I chose to marry him. As our son learned this year, we live with the choices we make. And truly, being a football family has brought so much more joy than pain.

And an undefeated season is a rare, rare thing. Not only did my son get to experience that joy this year, but so did my husband. It's almost scary how long the odds are on that happening. I've been afraid to say it out loud up to this point out of fear that I might jinx something. Football families are a superstitious lot for sure.

I can say it now though, because tonight my husband's team won their final regular season game. 10-0.
You want to hear something even scarier?? My son played on the JV team all season as he earned his place in the rotation on the Varsity team. The JV team went 10-0.

My family has not experienced the sting of a loss on the football field since 2010.

It could come next week. After 22 years, I know that. There are only 16 6A teams still playing high school football in the state of Kentucky, so every game gets tougher, every win harder to come by.

Likewise, there are only 16 NAIA teams still playing football nationwide. Georgetown is ranked #3, but at this level of competition, everyone is good.

Tonight, I'm thankful for my football family. I'm thankful for what seeing my son in Cardinal red and white represents. I'm thankful for the blessing of winning, and the chance to play at least one more week.

Go Cards!

Go Tigers!

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