Freshman Year Football

This is the image I will remember from my son’s freshman year of football (he’s #32.) In our small school, all the football boys are on the varsity team, but, of course, some of the younger ones don’t play much, if at all.

So I watched my son on the sidelines. What I saw was an encourager—both to those coming off the field and those standing on the sidelines, like himself. He often grabbed the water bottles to hand to the boys on the field during a timeout or when they came off the field for a short rest.

His penchant for encouragement and helpfulness earned him the respect of many of the older boys, including the one he stands next to, a senior affectionately known as “Big E.”

It’s been a hard season in some ways: my son loves to play, not watch, and that got frustrating at times, and this team was slated to repeat as state champions, but they lost last weekend in the semi-finals to a team they’d demolished only a few weeks before.

But what I’ll remember most from this season is this image—my son, skinny and not overly tall, standing out there with the big boys.