Thank you for all the wins that were wrapped up in the loss last night. Forgive us parents for celebrating after the game last night and possibly appearing to not take the loss in as serious of a fashion as you might have expected.
We waited excitedly for your post-game speech to end so that we could snap a picture or two, and honestly, we couldn’t wait to pat you on the back, as well. You see, from where we were sitting and standing, we saw so much more than the lopsided points on the scoreboard.
The past few weeks have been tough.
Our boys have come home exhausted. They’ve come home mentally tired. They’ve talked about play sheets, and bruises, and told us of the drills you’ve run again and again. They’ve talked about being challenged. They’ve talked about getting a butt chewing. They’ve talked about expectations and procedures and team chemistry and weak links and your expectations for them to be good men in the fieldhouse, on the field, out in the community.
We honestly weren’t sure what that was going to turn into but we were hopeful.
Last night, their stories began to make sense as we watched the game. Before our eyes, we saw boys that looked strong. We saw boys that looked more confident. We saw boys that knew what the play was & what was expected of them to make it. We saw engagement and fire in them for four full quarters.
Coach, we saw boys that knew how to tackle. We saw boys that knew how to block. We saw boys that nailed the extra point and blocked the opponent from making theirs. We saw boys that knew how to burst and give it everything they had until the play ended, no matter how close or how far away the opponent was from them.
We also saw boys who cheered for each other from the sidelines.
Our boys helped the opponent up from the field. We saw them leave their helmets strapped on and their mouthpieces in, in anticipation, not regret, that you’d send them in next. We saw energy and enthusiasm.
We watched our sons celebrate their teammate making it into the end zone because that’s what a teammate does, and we smiled for the young men who came over to the sidelines, with a grin beaming through that helmet so big we could see it 10 yards away. It made it so easy to cheer for all of them because they were all so proud of each other.
They were a team and it was exciting to see them work together.
Most importantly, we saw progress and improvement and toughness and pride in their eyes. At home, we’ve seen our boys processing what it means to be a man. We’ve watched their reactions begin to shift and some of their conversations have appeared to take a different narrative. We’ve heard stories of improved behavior in the classroom and an increased sense of pride in doing the jobs they’re asked to do. They're striving to do them well.
We waited to photograph the moment because of what we witnessed tonight. We waited to pat you on the back for all the things we’re seeing, that may not be as obvious to you, and that was just after Week 1.
So Coach, keep working them hard. Keep coaching them up. Keep your expectations high. Keep grinding them because we saw so much victory in the loss last night and we know the Ws on the scoreboard aren’t that far behind for us all.
Cheering for you & what you’re building,
The Coach’s Wife, player’s mom, & fan all wrapped up in one