Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Is it the end?

There are football seasons that, as a coach's wife, I am so ready for them to end.  I want my husband back to talk to, my kids to get to bed on time, my husband to help with the laundry....  This was not one of those years.

After our quarterfinal bow to Alvarado, I was at a loss.  It wasn't even bittersweet.  Just sad.  Winning all but 2 games of the 13 was awesome, but it was more than that.  It was one of those years, my first, that I invested 100% of my emotion and heart into the players and their moms.  

I know I'm not the only one.  My friend, who is also a coach's wife but doesn't really get into football too much, was devastated.  We had been praying.  We had seen God work.  We were convinced we'd see it through to the end.  

As the rain and the snow 
   come down from heaven, 
and do not return to it 
   without watering the earth 
and making it bud and flourish, 
   so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: 
   It will not return to me empty, 
but will accomplish what I desire 
   and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. 

This passage in Isaiah is one of my favorite, and I'm claiming it for this 2011 football season.  God showed Himself mightily through the spiritual leadership of several of the players.  He blessed Seminole with the grace of winning.  He led a few through painful coals of emotional suffering.  Several of the players wrote Habakkuk 3:17-19 on their eyeblack and their calves and forearms.

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
   and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
   and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
   and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
   I will be joyful in God my Savior.

 19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
   he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
   he enables me to tread on the heights.

That's pretty heavy for seventeen year old boys.  I think several of them understand, "Yet I will rejoice in the Lord" despite battling 3 years of injuries, or family upheaval, or personal disappointment.

I know that this season instilled a lot of God's truth and Scripture in many of the players, coaches, and parents.  God has promised that a playoff loss won't end the work of His Truth.  It will accomplish God's purpose.  

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Week 12

This is a guest post from Tanner Moore, a senior on our football team.  This is a glimpse into Seminole football 2011.

Week 12: Lubbock Cooper Part II

by Tanner Moore on Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 7:05pm
I apologize for not writing a note last week about Fabens! There's really not much to know though, we drove to Pecos, took care of business, and came home just like we planned on doing. End of story.

But now for Lubbock Cooper...

Dang. There's so much I want to write right now, but I don't know if I can even begin to find the words. I guess I'll just start from the beginning. This week started Saturday morning when we won a coin flip to decide that the game would be played on our home turf, at the Wig, one last time. I'm glad I got to finish my career there. If you have ever played a game as big as this game was, you know the hype already among the team and players. But this game was even more exciting; it was at home. A playoff game in front of our own fans in our home unies at the Wigwam. I am a student aide in the athletic office first period, and by Tuesday, almost every single reserved seat was sold. The line to purchase tickets every morning was continuous, the thing never stopped! It seemed like everywhere you went around town, people were stopping to ask you about the game, stopping to tell you good-luck, the whole town was ready for us to play! As game-time drew near, I couldn't hardly think straight. I was so ready to play. The stands were full, family, friends, girlfriend, and recruiters in the stands, playing in the Wigwam, the town electrified by the game, and a game we knew we were prepared to win. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

I really don't feel the need to explain details about the game, we played really well, gave them some mercy points with our seconds and thirds in the game, and came out with the 35-13 win. Jarod is a stinkin animal, Jake threw the ball well, and we controlled the line of scrimmage. Defensively, we executed the gameplan, tackled well, and kept them from scoring. We have so much room to improve, we didn't play our very best, but we played well enough to dominate. With that said, I don't want to take any of the credit for ourselves, God gave us the talent and blessed us with the team, He deserves all the glory!

One of my goals I wrote down in my workbook for this week was this: "Sacrifice everything you have for your brothers on every play." I didn't realize how serious that was going to be. This week, I was a little bit disappointed, and I let it get to me. I was disappointed in some of the actions of a few of my teammates, disappointed that I didn't feel God was playing a big enough role on the team, and I was just a little bit bummed out. But I had a conversation with coach Burtch I will never forget. He told me that he had been a little bit disappointed too. But he told me that if it was my goal to make all the guys on the team act right and be Christians, I didn't have my focus where it should be. As a Christian, our focus shouldn't be on anyone other than God, and His glory. Sure, Jesus gave us the great commission, and Paul talks all the time about trying to seek and save the lost. But they said that not so that they could win the people, but so that they could bring glory to their maker. The goal of there lives was to praise Christ! And the goal of ours should be to praise Christ also, and glorify Him in EVERYTHING that we do. Last night I wore Col. 3:23 on my eye black. I normally try to stay away from verses like that, the ones that everyone knows by heart, because I don't want to be a generic Christian, I want to specifically mean what is on my eye black, I want it to be real! Well, Col. 3:23 couldn't be more real for me last night. My goal was to do all that I did heartily, as if working for the Lord, not for men. And one of my ways of glorifying God was to give all that I had for everyone counting on me to do my job. And that's exactly what I did.

I think I'll always remember the last play of football of my life. Coach Burtch tells us a story every year about his last play. He let a fullback block him because he didn't give his best effort and the opposing team scored a touchdown. He tells us every year that he wishes he could have that play back, so that he could give more effort, that he has regrets. But as I look back... There's nothing I regret about that last play. It was 3rd and 21. We were backed up inside our own 10 yard line late in the 4th quarter. The play was a screen pass in the middle of the field for me. As I turned an caught the ball, I saw a few nice blocks and an opening to the left. The first defender was a corner that I made miss, but as I did so and planted on my left leg, I felt a big time pop, and started to scream. But i kept running. I saw the next guy coming to tackle me, and I immediately got scared, knowing that the impact was going to hurt more than I knew it could. But I broke his tackle and kept running. I stumbled forward and got the first down. I sat on the turf for a little bit, not too long, and got up and walked off on my own power. I walked around after the game and took myself into the locker room on my own two legs. But I found out this morning that the pop I felt was my knee cap ripping in half. As I'm typing this it's in two different pieces, split right down the middle. But I kept running.

Sometimes in life you just have to keep running. Sometimes it's scary and you know it's going to hurt when the 190 lb linebacker is about to try to tackle you. But you have to keep running. Sometimes in life you're in excruciating pain but the first down marker is only a few steps and one broken tackle away. What do you choose to do? Do you fall down and grab your knee? Or do you press on for your family, for your brothers, for your team, for your God, and get the first down no matter how badly it hurts? It feels weird knowing I'll never play football again. I doubt after this injury that a college would want me. It feels weird knowing that this team has made it further than any Seminole team of the past, to the state quarterfinals, and I don't get to strap it on and fight with my family. But I accomplished my goal. I gave all that I had for them. I busted my tail my whole life to play football, worked out and dreamed since I was a little boy in the trailer park in Shallowater of high school football, I put everything I had into it, so that I could sacrifice it all for my brothers. And because of that, I am peaceful. Because I gave it my absolute all, I am at ease. I have nothing left to give. I sold out. I sold out.

So my challenge for you is this...

When is your last play gonna be? What if it was right now? I never thought my last play would be last night. But if you broke your knee cap in half on your next step, would you be able to say, "I kept fighting, I gave it my all, I have nothing left to give."? Are you holding anything back? Will you regret your last play? I pray you don't. Always remember:

"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as if working for the Lord rather than for men." - Col. 3:23