Sunday, August 7, 2011
Friday Night Lights ..One Mo Time
Their faces already serious with the business at hand. Look their way if you want. Speak if you please. All you get in return is maybe a nod and a glare. They're in the zone. No time for Mama's trying to talk to them through the fence holes, wishing them luck, telling them to be careful. Be careful??!!! WHAT??!!! Are you kidding??!! MAMA..GET OUT OF HERE....their faces practically scream! No sweet and softness allowed! We're here to CRUSH, to BUST, and to WIPE THEM OUT! Whadaya mean...be safe, be careful. Psssshhhhtttt.
So I'll find my way to my seat in the bleachers. Greeting parents and children as I go. Some people whom I haven't seen since this time last year. I climb my way to the top. All the way to the end that looks over the grass. This is necessary because Mims must be able to sit on the end and spit off the top. Walkers by, beware. We're just about lined up with the 50 yard line, the best seats in the house. Throughout the wait for the game to begin, girls from years of school, kindergarten til now, will find their way to us, to speak, hug necks and talk a bit. Catch up. And every year, I think the same thing on first sight, my land, how they have grown.
If we're playing at home, we'll hear Archie Watson begin his hometown, home field speeches. Announcing the starting players for both sides. Archie will then ask that we all stand for the National Anthem and bow our heads for a prayer. We're in the private school system. We're still allowed to believe in the Lord out loud, to bow our heads and pray for our boys safety, and we do.
Zachary and his team begin their two a day practices tomorrow. Two times a day, at 7am and again at 6pm. They will all stand together, push each other together, and learn together what is going to be expected and demanded of them this year. Demanded in order to be successful. Demanded in order for them to be respected. And demanded in order for them to have a football season full of hard work and pride and hopefully some wins on the scoreboard.
Zach is a Junior this year, and in preceding years he played the position of linebacker. This year he begins the football season as Center behind his best buddy since pre-school, Quarterback Dustin Watson. I would expect the lines of communication between these two boys to be flawless. Their communication system in life is...we shall see.
All I know is I am ready. For sweaty, nasty, stained up clothes. Duffel bags full of forgotten socks and tee-shirts wadded together for weeks on end. And as you unzip the bags, the smell alone makes you want to just throw whatever is in there in the trash and buy news ones. Start all over. Cleats strewn by the back door where they were taken off in tired haste the last time they were worn. And a child so hungry when he comes in, you don't know if you can get food inside his body before he self com-busts from hunger. And the drives. The three hour one way drives to watch your son and his team play their hearts out, win or lose.
There is something very, very special about the football season in high school. It brings tears to my eyes now, as it will the last game of the season as I climb back down from the bleachers, one more time. Their first game is August 26th. Under the Friday Night Lights of course. Go Munroe BOBCATS...here's to hoping for a wonderful 2011 Football Season!