This past weekend was the first in months that didn’t revolve around football.
Friday, normally a night reserved for the weekly game, was spent at Carabba’s (yum) and at a movie with friends. The company was great, the food was delicious and the movie inspiring – seriously, if you haven’t seen Woodlawn you should.
But still, I found myself reflecting on our usual routine and I’ll admit … I already miss it a little. So, I decided to write out my 2015 “highlight reel” for the season, probably a bit different than our coaches’ lists.
Opening game against Ringgold – The atmosphere was electric. The fans were loud. The team fought hard. Although we did not secure the W that night, I was proud of our team and I’m excited to see the match-up next year. Go Generals!
Every walk-in before the game – For those who haven’t been there before kickoff – or at all – they basically turn up a very intense, motivating song … really loud … and the players walk down from the top of the stadium to the field, through the middle of the crowd, American flags in-hand. I get goose bumps every time. Please, keep that tradition going!
Logan’s touchdown pass against Cartersville – Easily the most heartwarming touchdown of the season, Logan’s run and the subsequent outpouring of support for him, his family and the school, was nothing less than amazing. It was great to be in the crowd that night as I witnessed a game that, to me, exemplified sportsmanship between two coaches and teams, all for the greater good of one pumped-up, supportive kid.
Beating the team to Pickens County – In an attempt to beat traffic, Arlene and I left pretty early for the game that was scheduled about 2 hours from where we live. Well … beat the traffic we did! We were at the stadium before ther players and band even arrived. It was hilarious. No worries, though, we got some Mexican food before the game and I seriously enjoyed getting to spend some time getting to know Arlene more. P.S. – In one of my first posts, I said I’d be on the lookout for interesting concession stand food. Pickens County wins for full servings of pinto beans and cornbread. Those people understand the needs of southerners on a crisp fall night.
The halftime show on senior night – a whole section of saxophone players dressed as bananas and trumpets dressed as Mario characters, all while playing tunes from High School musical … ‘nough said.
Sitting with families who are equally invested in the game – Every Friday I got to sit with my in-laws and a group of like-minded ladies whose husbands also devote hours of time – and even more thought – to making sure the team is as ready for the game as possible. It was a real treat to spend time with them every week and know they’d be supportive of Jake and the staff regardless of the outcome of the game.
Observing Jake’s devotion as a coach – Even more than the daily practices, weekly Sunday meetings and the countless hours Jake thinks about all the technical parts of the game, it’s his love for making a difference in the lives of others that continuously impresses me. He talks “Xs and Os” and for the players, I’m sure he’s all business, but I know ultimately his heart is to help mold men of character and have an eternal impact. I’ve heard his prayers for the students and coaches. I’ve seen him wrestle through his own frustrations and reactions to tough losses, and through it all I’ve grown to respect him even more.
Congrats to all our players, coaches, parents, band members, cheerleaders and dancers on a well-fought season. It was a pleasure to share Fridays with you and we’ll see y’all next fall!