The Pigskin Mistress
As if it ever really ended, the 2019 football season began today.
It’s nearly 11 PM and the man that keeps the other side of the bed warm is not yet home. This is our schedule for the next five days until the regular practice schedule starts next week.
Soon Saturday mornings, Sunday afternoons, and every weekday evening will all belong to this pig-skin mistress I willingly invited into my life over 28 years ago, and I will share my husband with a dozen other men and over a hundred boys I didn’t bring into the world—but are mine all the same.
In a few weeks, teenage boys will send menu requests to my husband’s cell phone and fill my dining room table on Sunday nights. Their laughter and conversations will remind me once again why I love being Mrs. Joey Witcher, assistant football coach for the Union Redskins.
The excitement of Friday nights will soon command the attention of each week as we collectively prepare to win. The competition, the August heat, September’s invite to fall, and the crisp October air will all answer the call to high school football, and we will chase the competitive edge until we embark on excellence.
We will mark the trail with wisdom for young boys wanting to become men, and we will watch them learn, struggle, rise to a challenge, fail and overcome.
We will watch a handful of plays on Saturday mornings and revel in their success.
Then in another ten years from now, one or two of them will send us a wedding invite or a social media request, and we will know that the old adage is true—children really do spell love with the letters…..T I M E.
In twenty-eight years, my man has coached for six different high school football teams. If I began to list the young men who still reach out, I would fail and forget to mention many of them.
They have held my children up on their shoulders, played catch and posed for pictures.
They have jumped into my husband’s arms in the triumph of victory; they have buried their faces in his chest in the anguish of defeat; they have looked him in the eye with pride after a job well done, and they’ve taken a butt-chewin’ for busting a route or missing a block.
They are our family, in our picture albums, a part of us. We love them; we cherish the memories and cling to the friendships we share, always remembering the bond that is high school football—that force that sends you tired, bleeding, sore, and driven headlong into your opponent just to drive him into the wall in the name of team and pursuit of victory.
We had this verse read at our wedding, still just two kids dreaming of a family and season after season of state championships.
“Where you will go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God- my God..” Ruth 1:16
I had no idea how many people would become my people, my boys, my
Working on her 29th year as a coach’s wife and a professional educator, Lisa enjoys high school athletics and working with teachers and students. She serves Union Public Schools as an administrator and considers “Mama” the best title she has ever received. She and her husband have raised two children on their coaching journey, and together they enjoy Yankee baseball as they wait for the next football season to arrive.