The Boys of Fall

Tim and I were (are?--were?) athletes in grade school, high school and college.  I guess my frame of reference should be that we wore uniforms, represented a team and competed.  Sports drove me, and without them I'm sure my life would have been much different.  To this day, my favorite smell is that of  a newly sealed gym floor and a hazy, crisp night sky screams football season, and yes, even now, the post-workout burn and delayed onset muscle soreness hurts so good!  According to my dad's recollection, there weren't very many times when I didn't have a ball in my hand, or that I wasn't trying to add another inch or more to my vertical jump, or add just a little more weight to get my name up on that weight room record wall.  Pretty sure Tim would say "ditto".

All of that said, is not to relive glory days, but rather to put into perspective some of our passion.  When Jakob was born, I remember making the comment that I would support him and any of our kids in whatever they wanted to do…whatever they were interested in, but added that I sure did hope that they would like sports!  So far, so good…and there ARE things in addition to sports that they really enjoy too!!  I love that we get to enjoy the seasons watching our kids play.  We're not pushing for lifetime careers, but supporting their love of the game in the here and now.

Someday I am going to take a picture of the many uniforms that hang in the laundry room--it is something that I relish.  We never have been too gung-ho about organized teams at a young age.  Jakob and Joshua got to participate in those more than any of the rest, but when we moved to the acreage, much of that stopped and the new guideline of nothing until 6th grade was implemented for reasons of sanity protection.  That rule is seeing a little bit of laxity since we moved back, but for the most part it holds.

This year Jon was in 6th grade so he got to start playing football--never mind that he has been begging to play for two years already.  He and Joshua played Midget football for the Firefighters, and Jakob began his second year playing at Pius.  It probably goes without saying that football was on the calendar frequently.
We were all excited about the prospect of Jakob playing real high school football (vs. freshman football last year).  Pius competed in Class A this year and there was a lot of hype about how that was going to turn out.  The fall kickoff was full of energy and it was a lot of fun to see him on the field.
Jakob made his varsity debut in the first game of the season.  What a fun way to start the year!
The next game was a sophomore game, so he got to see substantially more playing time and was doing very well, and then...
…the part of the game that no one likes…when a player is on the ground, every parent anxiously scans the players standing to find their son, and when they do, breaths a sigh of relief before praying that the one who is on the ground gets up unharmed.  
I've always thought that if it was my child that was on the ground, no one could keep me on the sidelines.  This time it was my child, and I stayed on the sidelines, holding my breath, praying that he was ok and waiting until I saw the coach scanning the crowd for mom or dad, at which point I promptly ran.  I suppose it could have been an ingrown toenail bugging him, and I still would have run to his side!  He was up, but needed to head straight to the ER.
Not happy to be there, and not feeling very good…Jakob wore #22 because that was his dad's football number.  Pretty cool, and I'm positive Tim had a big feather in his cap too.  Jakob's biggest worry was that they would have to cut the jersey to get it off.
Jersey removed successfully without a single cut or tear, morphine and ice on board, comical statements beginning to role out as he was under the influence of narcotics, and one of the neatest things that could've happened that night…as we waited, I received one text after another from parents inquiring and saying they were praying for Jakob, and from several priest friends saying the same, and then the text from Fr. Courtney with a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for Jakob to focus on.
That really came in handy when the doctor finally arrived to reduce the dislocated elbow that ailed him…yuck.

The rest of the season was spent like this :) (and enduring aggressive physical therapy).  If I recall correctly, he suited up for the last varsity game of the season and the last sophomore game was cancelled.  :(

Fortunately, that was the only injury we had to endure this year.  I know that football can be rough, and some families are adamantly opposed, but I'm pretty sure that we've been to the ER more times for injuries unrelated to sports, and entirely related to BOY.  
 Jonathan thoroughly enjoyed his first season of football and readily confirmed that there will be many seasons to come.

 Joshua wrapped up his final season of midget football, and played with visible passion all season.

He was honored to receive the 2013 A Team Defensive Player of the Year.

The five St. Teresa's 8th graders…today they played against each other.  

Grandma and Grandpa typically got to see three grandkids play in one day…this particular day they got to watch Josh and Trevor play against each other!
 We even got to add a couple more fans to the bleachers this year.  Uncle Cash and Aunt Annie came on a weekend that they would get to go to three games--one for each nephew.  We made sure that they were outfitted in the appropriate spirit attire!