Kudos to the kids, the coaches, teachers and administrators for the REMARKABLE work they have done to be able to play America’s Game under the Lights on Friday Nights. They all deserve so much credit. Many people did not think that this was possible. This required a total buy-in by the aforementioned groups. This has been a true success just to get this far in the season. Everyone understands that this could change in an eye blink with the virus being so very contagious.
But I think the real lesson here is in the face of a deadly pandemic that our high school student-athletes, coaches, teachers and administrators have led the way. They have shown us all through discipline, teamwork and commitment that even this Draconian virus, which has changed every element of every part of our daily lives, can be dealt with.
People who don’t play or coach often don’t understand what SPORTS means to young people. To me it is not so much winning and losing; it is much more than that. Don’t get me wrong, everyone wants to win … no one takes the field hoping they get the BEJEEBERS kicked out of them. Kids take the field to win, to compete. But as their athletic careers end, to me, the memories are more about team friendships. It is about the commitment to a common cause, never giving up, learning to play a role because you are not always going to be the center of attention. You learn to sacrifice for a team. You learn about hard work and dedication. Those lessons learned through sports can help make you successful later in life.
So let’s tip our proverbial football helmets to the kids, coaches, teachers and administrators for giving us back our Friday Night Lights.
Tom Cole is the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Taylor Automotive Family and teaches broadcasting at St. John’s Jesuit and Adrian College