The Losing Team Won
It wasn't the score that mattered.
I attended a junior varsity football game tonight, something I haven’t done in a long time. I had not even sat in the stands at a school game since I graduated in 2015. *Ouch, giving away my age now.*
It brought back so many memories to see the guys play, and hear the cheerleaders. I used to spend a lot of time at sporting events when my husband played. Baseball, basketball, football, I had to be at all of them. Oh thinking back to earlier times with my high-school sweetheart still gives me butterflies. I used to get a little too loud cheering for him, and I’d spend the following days so hoarse. Nowadays, it isn’t as socially acceptable for me to scream for the players when I’m holding a baby in my arms, but hey its all in good fun.. Right?
Maybe its parenthood, or maybe it’s just having grown up, but things were so different tonight.
Between haphazardly cheering for my brother-in-law, and giggling at my young son paying such close attention to everything around us, I can admit I was distracted early on. The game was slow moving anyways, Wake Christian Academy was down 28-0.
The stands are rarely full at junior varsity games, and tonight was no exception. It is sort of an unspoken assumption that their games are less entertaining than varsity. As sad as it is, students don’t flood the stands in waves, sporting their school colors, and carrying signs in support of the j.v. teams. It doesn’t help that the phrase ‘Friday night lights’ directly represents when varsity games take place. You also have the classic ‘Friday night football’ motto. Poor j.v., y’all just can’t win with your early-evening, Thursday night game schedule.
Regardless of the fact that it was Thursday, I didn’t want to miss seeing my brother-in-law’s first game of the season. The first scheduled game was the previous week, but it was cancelled due to bad weather. And to think, for once in my life I had showed up on time.
Following half-time, I passed my son off to his grandparents, and I vowed to pay better attention to the game.
Wow, the things I saw.
I will use the boys’ numbers, in an effort to conceal the identity of the minors. I did not ask these parents to broadcast their children’s names, but I absolutely had to write about this.
Following a hard tackle, number 7 didn’t waste any time before he grabbed the shoulder pads of number 3 and helped him to his feet. When coach Mullis sent number 34 to replace 4, the boys high-fived before switching out. The excellent display of team work wasn’t limited to the field. On the sidelines number 20 walked around picking up the team’s water bottles, and noticing his efforts, number 44 came to help. Later, 20 & 44 refilled and handed out the water to their fellow teammates. During the fourth quarter time-out WCA called, numbers 4 & 54 made sure their teammates had water in the huddle.
These boys were not asked to do the things they did, they just did them. We are talking about genuine actions that were done on a completely volunteer basis by teenage boys at the prime of talking back and being uninterested in anything other than game systems. (Yes, eventually they’ll grow out of that!)
Their actions may seem like small gestures, but in today’s society they are few and far between.
Junior varsity, you surely didn’t disappoint. You boys didn’t give up, sulk around, and throw your helmets just because you were losing, and that says so much.
Wake Christian’s junior varsity football team may have lost the game, but they won in a much more important fashion. It is obvious the parents of these young men have instilled Godly values in their sons, and that is worth so much more than a final score.
Wake Christian Academy and Mr. Sam Mullis have a lot to be proud of.