My sons had football games today. Koren had to be on the field for warmups at noon and his game was supposed to start at 1pm. I left the field to run to the store really quick to buy extra water jugs and when I got back (right at 1pm), it was almost half time. They started the game around 12:40 because the games were running ahead of schedule. I really dislike that! :( There was a woman in the stands who had driven an hour to come and watch this game. Her grandson is one of Koren's teammates. She missed half the game as well. Just not cool.
However, the boys played well and this week, they won their game 12-0. Last week, they lost 0-12. No clue what next week will end up looking like for them.
After Koren's game, Grandma and Grandpa took Koren, Oralee, Jeriah and Angel back to their house because Cephas' game wasn't set to start for another two hours. Cephas stayed and we hung out, watching the next Rookie game. What can we say? We were already parked on bleachers in the shade. It was a great afternoon to be outdoors just relaxing and watching some football.
Cephas' coach showed up at 2:15 and he ran over to get ready. He was the first one there today, I think. I also think it made a good impression on the coach because Cephas was given a LOT of playtime in his game.
While Cephas' team was doing warmups, I stayed over by the Rookie field, which is right next to D field. There was an injury on D field to the point that the rescue squad was called. Play was obviously stopped on D field and all the boys took a knee. It's such a sign of respect and courtesy, it just overwhelmed me.
When they opened an extra gate to allow the rescue squad access to the field, play on Rookie field was stopped as well. The injured boy was placed on a stretcher and wheeled off the field. Fans and players alike clapped the entire time they were wheeling him to the ambulance and loaded him in. The gate in the fence was next to the boys' opponent's side of the field and those boys were all talking to the boy as he was wheeled past them. The boys' teammates also ran over to encourage the injured boy. It was such a display of sportsmanship, I was actually moved to tears. I don't really cry easily, but this was beyond that.
It made me really stop to think about all that the boys are really learning while playing football. They are not only learning a sport and getting physical exercise, but they are learning sportsmanship, compassion, social skills, strength of character, honor, integrity and all of these other things that don't immediately come to mind when I think of football initially. They are also learning self-control, perseverance, and so many other great qualities and skills that will suit them well in life, not just this football season.
Cephas' game started early as well, around 3:15 instead of the 3:30 scheduled start time. Only Grandpa came back for the game. The little kids were tired and didn't want to come back to the field, which I figured may end up being the case.
Cephas played a LOT as I said. In the 40 minute game, he played probably about 30-35 minutes of it. He was allowed to play both sides of the ball and had some great hits. One boy on the opposing team was running the ball and had gotten past his blocker and Cephas saw it, abandoned the guy he was supposed to be blocking and ran to block this kid. The kid sidestepped one way, then the next, trying to figure out how to get around Cephas. The ball runner then cut sharp one way and when Cephas stayed with him, he cut sharp the other way. Cephas cut the other way also, reached out, grabbed the boy around the waist and pulled him down to the ground. It was such a great play! I got really excited and yelled, cheering for him and turned to my father-in-law and said, "THAT'S my boy!" Totally a dad moment, but Hubby was at work, so I had to do the dad pride thing in his place. :)
I was struck by just how powerful Cephas is as a football player. I really think he has potential to play high school level in two years when he is a freshman. It's crazy sad to think that next year will be his last year of midget football and then the next year, he'll probably be playing freshman football.
I'm not sure that Koren is really all that into football. He wanted to play this year, but I'm not sure that he'll want to play again next year. Some of our friends say that he should wrestle, but I'm not sure about that either. Maybe? We'll see what he wants to do. Football scholarships are more plentiful where we live and cover a lot more than a wrestling scholarship will, but it's really about what Koren wants. I'm just glad that Cephas is motivated. Football has really helped him with self-control and with his ADHD, ODD and aggression issues. Plus, it also encourages and motivates him to do well in school, get along better with his siblings and to just be personally responsible. Football has had a tremendous impact on Cephas and I'm truly grateful for the opportunity he has to play.