Whenever an athletic season begins, there’s no telling how it will end. With the way the football season started for our high school, there would be no way to even fathom where those boys of the gridiron would be today. You might remember that our season started off with the unimaginable loss of a beloved player and twin brother of another teammate from complications of a severe asthma attack during an indoor practice from another post.
The tragedy has turned into triumph. Our players and coaches chose to play this season for their fallen teammate. The students jumped on board to be there for every game- at home and on the road. The community rallied around his family. With love as the guide, this football season has been about a whole lot more than yardage and touchdowns.
Magical things have happened. A cloud in the shape of our Eagle logo appeared in a cloudless sky during the first game following his death. The number 63, which was his number, turned up everywhere, such as the combined totals of scores. It seemed like anytime there were numbers involved, they added or multiplied to be 63 without fail. Plays that shouldn’t have happened were executed flawlessly. If you ask anyone in town, our football angel had a hand in all of it. This season was all about #63.
Five pep buses rolled out of the high school parking lot this morning for the almost 5-hour road trip to the semi-final state game near St. Louis. The team headed out before sunrise- hoping for one more win before the state championship game. Cheerleaders and dance team members tagged vehicles of parents and fans driving to the game with the school colors. Our daughter and her friends packed backpacks for the long ride, which was made possible by donations from our community. Students who wanted to make the trip were offered a charter bus ride, a ticket to the game, and pizza for the ride home for only $5.00. You read that right- $5.00! Eagle fans wanted to make sure any student who wanted to support the team had the chance to get on one of those buses. The parking lot was full of kids with blankets and bags who were ready for the experience of a lifetime.
Win or lose- this season has been about more than football. This season has been about heart and love and friendship. This season has been about overcoming the worst of situations with heads held high. This season was for #63. I’m sure the magic we’ve experienced will be there today at that stadium far away from our home turf. https://twitter.com/JHS_Athletics/status/1198242377355472897?s=20