Football coach to a player: “Keep working to lead by your actions. Take every opportunity to show someone how to do things the right way. Leadership takes a strong belief in yourself, taking a risk by extending yourself and let your game do the talking.”
Our boys’ football seasons are about to wrap up so I’m in a bit of a reflective mood. One of those boys will be wrapping up his high school season this week. So I’m sentimental, too.
Here are some thoughts from some of his teammates on what they learned playing football:
Never give up when faced with adversity.
You can achieve anything if you work hard enough for it.
Success is never final, failure never fatal. It’s courage that counts.
The meaning of team.
It’s all about heart.
What you put in it what you get out.
It looks like they each learned some important life lessons.
Today’s Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a nice human interest story about three families at USM who have a daughter AND a son playing in this weekend’s state hockey tournament.
Talk about family-based education.
However, my experience is you don’t have to be related to be treated like a member of the family.
I call it co-parenting–please, anyone who can come up with a less “social-science-y” name for it, I’m all ears–and it’s one of those features in a community that I’d argue makes for a great place for kids.
Here’s an example involving one of the dad’s in today’s Journal Sentinel story.
Jay Wigdale and I were talking between periods at a hockey game. My middle guy had hockey practice after the varsity game and was panicking because his gear was in the car. “Mom, c’mon!” he urged. I sneered at him–the look that should say, “I’m talking to another adult here. Give me a minute.” But he was fixated on getting that bag, torn between waiting politely and being on time for the team meeting before practice.
After interruption number three or four, Jay said, “Hey, how about ‘Please Mom?'” That broke the spell and a few minutes later, Son #2 and I were on our way.
Maybe it’s that Jay and I have stood at football, baseball, and hockey games together for the last couple of years watching our sons play. Maybe it’s because Jay’s wife and I serve on the school’s Booster Club board together. Maybe it’s because, by my count, Jay has 13 nieces and nephews living nearby, or that about half of those nieces and nephews have played hockey with my own kids. But Jay felt perfectly comfortable scolding my son. And I was completely thankful he did.
To the best of my knowledge, I am not related to anyone at University School, save my own children. Still, there are plenty of days that we feel we are part of a family.
Wednesday was Senior Night for the Wildcat football team and their last game of the season. As we were wrapping hot dogs for the evening’s fans, first-time senior mom Ann L. said of her oldest boys’ last football game, “This is the first of the lasts.”
Seniors marked their First of the Lasts in a senior booklet put together by Laura W. Here’s my favorite of the favorites to the Wildcat Varsity Football trivia:
Nickname: Oak, Sunshine
What is your favorite:
Hobby: Me time
Book: I can’t read
Quote: Actually, this is a G-rated blog, so all I can say is, “the one from the barber in Oconomowoc.”
Favorite USM memory: Bob S. fell to the ground after tearing his ACL in the Martin Luther game freshman year and could not walk off the field by himself. Dave the trainer looks at his knee and says to Coach Forti, “His knee is gone, Coach.” Coach Forti, still undeterred, looks at Bob straight in the eye and asks, “Bob, can you play?”
It’s a testament to the football program that nearly all of the boys cited the character-building side of football as the “most important thing learned playing football at USM.”
Dylan: Never give up.
Eddie: Hard work gets you wins.
Scott: How to kick a football.
Alex: Go all out and have fun.
Hozzie: Play every game as if it’s your last.
Beau: The will to win is most important. Desire beats out talent any day of the week.
Sam: Team First.
Andy: The value of the combined team and of hard work.
John: If you give it your all, there’s not reason to walk off the field with your head down.
Michael: You don’t have to be the best player to be the best teammate.
Malcolm: The game is always decided in the fourth quarter.
Friday night was the first home football game and, with Dominican as our opponent, it was like having two home crowds in the stands (in fact, Dominican felt so at home, they joined us on the Wildcat side).
The Wildcats pretty much squashed the Knights, but in the race to clean out Willie’s of all of its carefully stocked items, it was a tie.
Heard over the counter
MS boy with gaggle of girls, eyeing the collection of candy, “Okay, okay. I’m buying. Anything you want. I’ve got it.”
MS girl: “I have $9. That’s 36 Airheads. I’ll have 36 Airheads.” (For the record, we had, exactly, 36 Airheads left)
US girl: “You’re out of Airheads?”
Every other person buying Powerade: “Red Powerade, please.” (Umm–guess who didn’t know that “Fruit punch,” a.k.a.”red” would be so popular? Live and learn.)
For future fall Willie’s dates, go here. The grill will be sizzling at Varsity football games; other events will include the standard fare.