For years, I’ve watched our friends pack up their cars on Saturday mornings…cleats, helmets, jerseys…and head to the fields for their child’s baseball, tennis, football & soccer games. I’ve watched and I’ve wondered if Beau would ever get the chance to be a part of this Saturday morning ritual — to practice, wear a jersey and maybe even score a touchdown. This Saturday morning, on a football field, surrounded by a very special group of young men, Beau experienced all of this and more. For the first time in his life, he was part of a team. He was a Challenger!
Watching and playing football has always been a family favorite. On Colt’s game days, you’ll find us in our jerseys hunkered down in front of the television with a huge bowl of popcorn. Even our daughters enjoy practicing plays in the driveway with their Dad and Beau. So when we learned that the local football league was starting a special needs team, you can imagine how excited we were. This morning, it was our turn to pack up the car and head to the field to be a part of a team.
When we arrived at the field early this morning, we were happy to see some of Beau’s buddies from school. A few boys, but sadly, not enough players to form one team, let alone two. And then, like a scene out of “Field of Dreams” our local high school football team, the Hoggard Vikings, took to the field alongside our special little boys. Dressed in their practice jerseys, the Vikings towered over our little guys, but that didn’t stop Beau from grabbing the football and charging into the end zone for a touch down. Game on! For the next hour, I witnessed sportsmanship at its very best –a group of young men and their coach that had volunteered their time and talents to make a difference in the life of my son and his buddies.
When the practice ended, my husband, Ben, shared his heart-felt thanks with the team. As tears welled up in his eyes, he thanked them for sharing their Saturday morning with us, but more importantly, he thanked them for showing Beau & his buddies respect.
We’re already looking forward to next Saturday’s game and who knows, maybe, someday, we’ll be cheering for Beau under Friday night lights. After what I witnessed today, I would be proud to one day call my son a Hoggard Viking.