What Can You Learn From The Team Whose Season is Over?

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Photo via John Glaser, TexasHSFootball
Payton Smith @paytonmichele
November 7, 2016

Atavus-Football_bl_highres…And just like that, another Sam Houston season is in the books. It all ended so quickly. The last game of the season was an away game. There was no ceremony, no one last hoorah, nothing at all to mark the significance of such an important evening. Tonight was the last night that our seniors took the field. We won’t be heading into the postseason. Instead of heading back to the school to watch film, our team will be returning their equipment and cleaning out their lockers.

I am a coach’s wife and my heart is heavy… again. It is heavy at the conclusion of every season. I wonder what our boys will do next. Will they play at the next level? What will they become? Where will they go? Will I ever see them again? These young men, some who don’t even know my name, are very much a part of my family. I hear about them from their coach daily. I follow their stats and obnoxiously celebrate their successes from the stands. Now though, I return home to seek closure.

I learn a lot from my husband; how to fully invest myself into the success of others, how to be patient even when there seems no reason to be, and how to encourage and motivate in the face of adversity. As much as he teaches me through his silent example, my mind instead feasts on the lessons I’ve learned from our beloved Sam Houston Texans this year.

Fourth down is a scary place to be. You’re left with two options; punt or go for it. Away from the field, these young men have big decisions to make. They face challenging situations. Situations that maybe young people shouldn’t ever have to experience. They come to a point of a fourth down. They can play it safe and punt or they can take a risk, attempt to do something great. They do it every day. They take great leaps of faith believing that they can defy odds and conquer circumstances. Thank you, Texans, for showing me that sometimes “going for it on fourth down” means simply to face great challenges, take risks and press on towards great things.

There are winning football teams all across the state of Texas; teams that collect state titles like coins. There are also teams, however, that don’t win every game. In fact, there are teams that don’t even win most games. Losing is hard. It’s especially hard when you put in hours a day to pursue greatness and aim for victory. Consider the quarterback metaphor. You take snap after snap, but the defensive keeps busting up the protection and you get laid smooth out. You get the air knocked out of you. Again here, there are essentially two paths. Stay on the ground and accept defeat or get back up and keep on fighting. These young men are wise beyond their years. Even when the deck is stacked against them, they continue to get back up, take the field and fight until every second has expired off the clock. Oh the things we could all achieve if we consistently got back up regardless the blows that continue to come!

I suppose we all have a job to do. Such is the case for each young man who makes up a team. Each has a critical job with a specific responsibility. But what happens when you’re called to do something else? What happens if you’re a wide receiver and all of a sudden your team needs you to take a few snaps? You line up behind the center and you embrace the opportunity of doing something new, learning something different, and extending yourself for the greater good. It’s not uncommon to see these guys wear multiple hats not only throughout the duration of the season, but even during the 48 minutes of a game. Flexibility. Open mindedness. Adaptability.

To the Sam Houston Texans and to every team everywhere who has suited up for the last time this season, congratulations, thank you and best wishes. Congratulations on a great season. Regardless the record, you gave it your all. Thank you for inspiring countless fans. You’ll never know just how great your impact is or how far it reaches. Finally, best wishes. While an incredibly exciting chapter is concluding, you have so much ahead of you. Go write your story.

“What possibilities!” –Davis Ross Boyd

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