Sunday, July 17, 2011

F is for Football

I love college football.  I am a HUGE Virginia Tech Hokies fan!  The first youth I met when I interviewed for my current position was a very big red headed youth named Glen.  After talking with him before my interview, I found out he played lineman for his high school football team.
Soon after receiving the job I found myself enjoying my Friday nights at one of the local high schools as I cheered on Glen.  It was so great, I got to watch Friday night football which enjoying the great company of friends and the game that I love so much. 
One game, as we watched from the stands, Glen lined up at his usual position on the line and plowed into the defense.  As usual Glen was on the ground by the end of the play, but unlike usual, he didn’t get up.  The trainer ran onto the field stood over Glen.  He sat up and took his helmet off.  They talked for a few and then Glen lifted himself off the turf and headed to the sideline.  He was favoring his left shoulder.  Glen’s mom went down from the stands and talked with the trainer.  When she returned, she told us that Glen had felt his shoulder come out of joint and the trainer believed it was disconnected.  It was. 
Glen had to have surgery.  The next year, Glen had to have knee surgery because of a torn tendon.  The next year, the other shoulder came out and he had to have surgery.
Each time he had to have surgery, I would go and spend time with him.  He would beat my butt in Madden every time.  We would just chill and talk about life.  It was hard watching him struggle with the injuries. 
Have you ever loved something so much that all you wanted to do was that something?  Whether it was football, soccer, rollerblading, acting, gardening, any activity at all but something happens and you can’t do what it is that you love?  You are stuck on the sidelines watching.  Glen loves football so much and honestly he was really good at it.  It pained me to watch him on the sidelines instead of in the game.  Because of injuries, Glen wasn’t able to get a college offer to play football.  I wonder sometimes what would have been different if he hadn’t been injured so much. 
What’s the point of this story?  The fact is, although Glen might have been hurting inside, you would of never known by the look on his face and his interaction with the team.  He helped to coach his replacements, he was on the sideline to give moral support.  He did everything he could do to be involved in the game.
He hasn’t let what happened to him hold him down.  He wants to coach football as a career and although he might not have the playing in college experience as a background, he now has coaching experience.  He has been at an offensive line coach for two high schools.  One of those was the high school he played for.  While in college he is getting valuable coaching experience that could take him farther than playing the game.
Glen made the best of his situation and did everything he could do to keep his head in the game when his body wouldn’t allow it anymore.  I am really proud of him.  Put the football to the side because without it, you still have a kind, gentle, well loved and respected young adult that has shown more poise and control than most men would have given what happened to him in high school.  It’s no longer 4th down and 10 with nothing but a hazy outlook ahead.  Instead its 1st and goal and there is a lot of ways that he can score in this game of life.  Go get them Glen!

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