Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pennridge Greenjackets {70 pounds}

This story makes me cry. 

Practice after practice, he eagerly gave everything he had. 

But being half the size of the other boys, he got absolutely nowhere.

At all the games, this hopeful athlete sat on the bench and hardly ever played. 

This teenager lived alone with his father, and the two of them had a very special relationship. Even though the son was always on the bench, his father was always in the stands cheering. 

He never missed a game.

This young man was still the smallest of the class when he entered high school.  

His father continued to encourage him but also made it very clear that he did not have to play football if he didn't want to. The young man loved football and decided to hang in there. 

He was determined to try his best at every practice, and perhaps he'd get to play when he became a senior.

All through high school he never missed a practice nor a game but remained a bench-warmer all four years. His faithful father was always in the stands, always with words of encouragement for him.

When the young man went to college, he decided to try out for the football team as a walk-on. Everyone was sure he could never make the cut, but he did. 

The coach admitted that he kept him on the roster because he always puts his heart and soul to every practice, and at the same time, provided the other members with the spirit and hustle they badly needed.

The news that he had survived the cut thrilled him so much that he rushed to the nearest phone and called his father. 

His father shared the son's excitement and bought season tickets for all the college games.

This persistent young athlete never missed practice during his four years at college, but he never got to play in a game. 

It was the end of his senior football season, and as he trotted onto the practice field shortly before the big playoff game, the coach met him with a telegram.

The young man read the telegram and he became deathly silent. Swallowing hard, he mumbled to the coach, "My father died this morning. Is it all right if I miss practice today"? 

The coach put his arm gently around his shoulder and said, "Take the rest of the week off, son. And don't even plan to come back to the game on Saturday."

Saturday arrived, and the game was not going well. In the third quarter, when the team was ten points behind, a silent young man quietly slipped into the empty locker room and put on his football gear.

As he ran onto the sidelines, the coach and his players were astounded to see their faithful team-mate back so soon. 

"Coach, please let me play. I've just got to play today," said the young man. The coach pretended not to hear him. 

There was no way he wanted his worst player in this close playoff game. But the young man persisted, and finally, feeling sorry for the kid, the coach gave in. "All right," he said. "22 You can go in."

Before long, the coach, the players and everyone in the stands could not believe their eyes. 

This little unknown, who had never played before was doing everything right. The opposing team could not stop him. He ran, passed, blocked, and tackled like a star. His team began to triumph. The score was soon tied.

In the closing seconds of the game, this kid intercepted a pass and ran all the way for the winning touchdown. 

The fans broke loose. His team-mates hoisted him onto their shoulders. Such cheering you never heard.

Finally, after the stands had emptied and the team had showered and left the locker room, the coach noticed that this young man was sitting quietly in the corner all alone. The coach came to him and said, "Kid, I can't believe it. You were fantastic! Tell me, what got into you? How did you do it?" 

The young man looked at the coach, with tears in his eyes, and said, "Well, you knew my dad died, but did you know that my dad was blind?"

The young man swallowed hard and forced a smile, "Dad came to all my games, but today was the first time he could see me play, and I wanted to show him I could do it."

Unknown Author

He conquers who endures.  ~Persius


Sennie said...

Amazing story..
Great photos!

Cedar said...

That just makes me cry...beautiful photos and story!

Fresh Mommy said...

Oh my goodness, you're not kidding. Great story! And photos too :)

lifebythecreek said...

Made me cry, too. And I'm not sure if it was because of the boy, the dad, or the fact that it took so darn long for SOMEBODY to finally give him a real chance. Gracious; I hope our boys always feel our support like that, Becky.. and I pray that God will open the eyes of their teachers and coaches to see just how much they CAN do, instead of assuming that they can't. xoxox...

M said...

Great pictures...and I hadn't heard that one before- you had me thinking :)

No Greater Love said...

Oh, your pictures are so great!

And I love the story.

And now I'm hungry for a pretzel (w/ tons of mustard) and a hot dog.

Shey said...

what a great story! I almost cried as I read it. Thanks you for sharing Becky. +=)

BLOGitse said...

wow, wow, wow what a story - thanks for sharing it with your great shots!
Happy Sunday!

Vidya Sury said...

That made me cry. What a beautiful story. Thank you.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Mari said...

This one makes me cry too - wonderful story!

TechnoBabe said...

You're right, this is pretty amazing.

Tamar SB said...

Oh my word, I am sitting here in tears. SO touching!

Brian Miller said...

dang it...i have tears...kinda Rudy with a nice twist...yeah you got me...smiles.

Tiffany said...

That was wonderful. I loved the pictures within too. Beautiful!

Formerly known as Frau said...

Becky you have me crying today!! Love this story!
Have a wonderful Sunday!

StarTraci said...

Now you have me bawling! But that truly is a beautiful, inspirational story with which to start my Sunday. Thanks.

And as always, the pictures are great, too!


Mama Zen said...

What a gorgeous, gorgeous post!

Amy Lucy said...

What a wonderful, heartwarming way to start the day. Thanks for sharing this touching story and for the images to go along with it. So inspiring!

Jim said...

Well, this should 'do me in' for the day! Thanks Becky!
What a wonderful story of determination and love. Thanks.

Gigi said...

You got. I now have tears in my coffee.

Raymonde said...

Ooooooh Becky, look what you've done now. I am sobbing. Thanks for sharing and for your generous gift of encouragement. :) xxx

Sue said...

So, so touching.

Thank you.


tinajo said...

They are so sweet in those outfits! :-)

Jennifer said...

The pictures are just adorable! The story, oh my! It gave me goosebumps!!!!

qandlequeen said...


Unknown Mami said...

Seriously?! You killed me with that story.

Adrienne said...

Great series of photos, amazing story & perfect quote. thanks for this!

Busy Bee Suz said...

*tear tear* a lovely story.
Great photos those pink socks!!

stacy: the aunt with gum said...

What a beautiful story. And love the story going on in your images... fantastic!