I know Beau and have watched Beau change the lives of the big burly Hoggard Football players that he interacts with on Saturday mornings in the Coastal Pop Warner Challenger Football League. I have seen his eyes light up as he takes to the field and immediately runs into the end zone for a touchdown.
I have watched his face and the faces of his teammates and I have watched the faces of our Hoggard football players as well. I have seen what I have seen and it is hard to put it into words. I have watched my son, who tries to organize these players on a weekly basis have to tell the overwhelming response, that “No, we have enough volunteers this weekend, but I have put you down for next Saturday”. I have seen the core crew of football players that came out that first Saturday and continue to come out week after week in order to be a part of Beau and his friend’s world and not want to give up their spot for someone else to come out and participate, even though it means getting up early on a Saturday morning after a tough Friday night game.
I have watched Coach Braswell come out every Saturday morning and listened to him state after the first outing “I thought we were the ones blessed most on Saturday”.
Beau has shown us a side of our players that we might not have ordinarily seen had we not signed up for a volunteer effort such as this. They can’t wait to get out there on Saturday mornings and interact with Beau and his fellow teammates. As stated by one player, “It’s a great way to start your Saturday, it gives you such a great feeling and start to your weekend”. Beau has allowed these athletes to realize the impact that they can have on someone, the role that they play as mentors and role models and how far reaching that effort can go.
So yes, I know Beau and have seen both him and his friends have such a tremendous impact on our Hoggard Football Program and have seen him and his teammates touch the hearts & soul of these “tough” Football players. Their lives have forever been enhanced and changed by this experience of “knowing Beau” and all you have to do is look at Beau on a Saturday morning to know that his has been changed also. It scares me to think that this Challenger League will end soon and that it will force some of them to have to let go. However, I think a new tradition has been started at Hoggard Football, a tradition of giving back and I think for many years to come, many others will have the experience of “knowing Beau” and other friends of Beau.
I am thankful to Denise from Pop Warner who had the inspiration to start this league and for all of those Challenger parents who have allowed their children to participate in it. It has been an experience like no other and it is truly one that has touched the heart & soul of us all and this is all because we chose to “know Beau”….