A Weekend Football Throwback: Lights Out – 2009

I found this post quite accidentally and the timing of it lent itself to an edit and repost.  This took me right back to a fantastic time in Ider Hornet football and one I am looking forward to repeating.


Luke’s dad has a saying we all repeat often: “If ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts it’d be Christmas every day.” I’ve had to remind myself of that more than once since our 35-13 loss in Friday night’s round three state play off game. I know everyone says it, but the score in no way reflected the intensity of the game in which we were leading 7-6 as late as the 4th quarter. The tide turned quickly and unfortunately we just didn’t catch any breaks. But, there’s no amount of replaying the game in our minds that will change the result so – all ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ aside – it is what it is. After 13 games in which we finished 11-2, it’s time to shut down the stadium lights on the 2009 season.

If I were a man, I would recap by quoting undecipherable statistics or by telling you what a “physical” team we have become or how we have finally learned how to “put four quarters together”. However, being a girl who just recently learned to appreciate the beauty of a perfectly-executed onside kick, I can only express my thoughts through the emotion of what it felt like to sit on the edge of those bleachers with my heart in my throat Friday after Friday. It may mean nothing to a group of teenage boys that there was a middle-aged preacher’s wife in the crowd who finally wanted to understand the game because of you and I’m not asking for it to. But, you guys who know me understand that just because you don’t care won’t keep me from telling you.

I’ve never known much about the history of our school’s football team save for overhearing the retelling of past golden days by the men of our community who were either members of those teams or a witness to them. I’ve learned much about the pride our town takes in past victory. It thoroughly amuses me to watch the faces of these guys as they remember old coaches and remarkable plays. With that said, would you players like to know what you have done for those guys? For our town?

You’ve given us fresh legend.

No one has to look back any further than a couple of weeks to have a new smile on their face over your accomplishments.   They don’t have to reach into past coaching eras because we have that man today who has led our team to the winningest season in school history.  These men are no longer recounting the plays of when they were on the winning team because now the pinnacle of their gameday pride is in their very own sons.    Boys, I hope your parents don’t mind sharing because I think I speak for our community when I say you are our sons as well.  Personally,  I couldn’t have been any more invested if my own kids were on that field.

No, I don’t have a child on the Varsity team yet, but I will.  Would you like to know what you’ve done for them – especially the one who served as your water boy?  Instead of talking about the jersey numbers of his favorite college players, he is talking about yours.  He wants to emulate you.   You didn’t ask to be some kid’s hero, but that doesn’t keep him from looking up to you and being proud that he was able to be a part of this history-making team in this small way. This mom thanks you for embracing him and being individuals I’m not afraid for him to esteem.

Seniors (and I’m especially talking to you, Casey, TD, and Dakota), I know it’s so hard walking off that field for the last time but as much as you have been a gift to this community, let the adoration of the crowds and the school spirit that you’ve fired be one that will be the stuff of the tales you tell someday.  More than that, keep your perspective.  God, not football, is life.

But I’m pretty certain He’s loved watching you, too.

We are so proud of you, boys! Thank you for a great run…You started fast, now FINISH STRONG!

A portion of the Game Three 90 yard Spirit Line:

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The Water Boy and Water Girl in Action:
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Update 2014:

Sam McKay has dreamed about playing on the big field since his tenure as water/ball boy and before.  Friday night he had his first Varsity start as a 9th Grader and to say he was living the dream is an understatement.  Our team is small but mighty and their underdog win calls to mind the awesome season of 2009.  Looking forward to watching this kid and his team brothers tear it up this fall!