With one minute left in the state football championship game, the cougar team ran onto the field. Jersey #4, a high school senior undergoing cancer treatments, ran onto the field for his first and final play of the season. Unprompted by the coaches, the players surrounded #4 and told him to go in as quarterback. There was not a dry eye in the stands as they watched Jack take a knee and the Covenant Cougar team win the state championship.
Some might grumble against high school football saying it is unsafe and just plain violent. They may say Friday Night Lights is dangerously close to being an idol. But I say there is much more going on behind the scenes than just football plays.
On the surface, football can seem to be all about the glory of self. Quarterbacks have a reputation of being egotistical. In reality, football is full of servant leaders. Successful football players, coaches, water boys, team moms, cheerleaders and fans lay down self for the good of the whole team.
- I imagine players do not want to show up in the heat of summer for two a day workouts in the Texas heat. Yet, they show up for the good of the team. They learn discipline and perseverance which they carry with them off the field for the rest of their lives.
- Senior players lead the team by modeling humility and discipline on and off the field.
- The best linemen block well so quarterbacks, receivers, and running backs can make the play. Linemen get no glory but their commitment is crucial to the success of a team. They hold the line for the good of the team.
- Coaches can get beat down with criticism and have many days where they would like to call it in. Yet they show up and press on because they care deeply about the players. Good coaches learn to block out the noise and focus on earning the respect of their players.
- Cheerleaders and fans continue to show up to encourage from the sidelines. The energy they bring is essential to the morale of the team.
The players, coaches and fans all cooperate in a single effort.
Friday night lights would not be the same without the strength of the whole football family.
We are so proud of your character on and off the field!