Friday night, the local high school team, which we follow more closely than usual of late, owing to our familiarity with many of the players, pulled out another big win, and I’d be remiss not to mention it. We live in a small town–about 30,000 folks in the two municipalities that, together, form our community, a university town surrounded by rolling foothills, agricultural land, spent coal mines and natural gas wells. We’ve known a lot of these young men since preschool and kindergarten, and have watched them grow from awkward kids into accomplished athletes, students, and gentlemen.
It’s a down year, numbers-wise, for a school that’s not the biggest in it’s class to begin with. Our school district is fortunate to offer kids a lot of opportunities–and the number of participants is down in general, although this year’s success should help. The quality of play is not down, however. The quarterback and receivers are arguably the best group of skill players ever put together locally, all time, and while not just a small in number, but physically smaller than many other teams, these kids never stop putting up a fight. Perhaps more importantly, the guys I know are good, polite, academically accomplished students who don’t fit the usual stereotypes of high school jocks, particularly football players. I’m sure they’ve got their secrets–I know I did–but I have to say I’ve been honored to have them represent our community.
Of course, the pair of them who date my daughters better not take this praise for granted, and would still be wise to fear me.