To the 1996 Hastings Saxons Varsity Football Team and Coaches
from A Parent (Speaking for all parents)
To the coaches:
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â What else can we say but thank you.Â You’ve taken our boys and helped turn them into young men.Â You’ve taught them discipline and teamwork.Â You seem to genuinely care about each of the players on the team.Â You take the time to check on players after they’ve been hurt or had a bad game to see if they are O.K.Â It’s obvious that you don’t just do it for the pay. Wait a minute!Â Didn’t at least two of the coaches build new homes this year?Â Hmmmm!
I just have two questions.Â One, have you ever thought about having the parents call the plays from the stands.Â We always seem to know what play would have worked after your call doesn’t?Â Two, why don’t you play my son every play of every game?Â It’s obvious he’s the best player out there!
To the Seniors:
Well, this is the last football game of the season.Â For many of you, this is the last competitive football game you will ever play.Â Believe it or not, there is life after football.Â However, impressing women will be a little more difficult.
To all the players:
This season didn’t turn out as any of us had hoped or expected.Â They say that losing builds character.Â If I hear that one more time, I think I’ll scream.Â Losing sucks.Â Winning is great.Â But we wouldn’t be any more proud of you if you had won every game because you are our sons.
You have been our fall social lives for the past several years.Â Many of us started several years ago at the Saturday HYAA football games.Â We met other parents at those football games, and developed friendships that have lasted through the years.Â We know that you have developed friendships through football too.Â Hang onto them as long as you can.Â Good friends are hard to come by.
When you started playing freshman football, many times we parents were the only people in the stands.Â We always knew where we would be on Thursday evenings. As JV football players, you played a little later, but still we came (after we set the VCR to record Seinfeld).
Then you came to the “Big Show”.Â Friday night football games with the band playing and the stands full.Â At the away games we were often the only people in the visitors stands.Â Remember the drive to Hillsdale (88 miles one way).Â This year we complained about Zeeland, and it was only 44 miles one way.
Throughout the years, as we watched you play, we felt every hit you made (or received).Â When you made a good play, we could hardly contain our pride.Â When you made mistakes, we knew how you felt and wished we could take your place.Â When you got hurt, we shared your pain.
You never lost hope.Â Every week we asked you how you thought you would do, and every week you told us you had a good chance to win the game. Â You had faith in yourselves and we had faith in you.Â People would ask us how you were able to get “up” for each game knowing that the losses were mounting up.Â Our answer was always that “This isn’t the Ladies Aid Society.Â This is football and these guys are football players”.Â They’ll never understand unless they live with football players.
So go out and play your last game with your heads held high.Â Someday when you have kids, you will know how proud we are of you.Â To borrow a phrase from Bob Hope, “thanks for the memories”.Â Hit hard but hit clean, and know that the only reason that you and I have made these friends and treasure these memories is that “YOU HAD THE BALLS TO PLAY THE GAME”.