ďWhen I feel that chill, smell that fresh cut grass
Iím back in my helmet, cleats, and shoulder pads
Standiní in the huddle listeniní to the call
Fans goiní crazy for the boys of fallĒ
Ė Kenny Chesney
You just sang that, didnít you? Sounded very good.† †
Itís mid-summer and about time for Texas high school football. Namely, itís getting closer to Indians football and we all, well maybe most of us anyway, are pretty excited for whatís to come. Waxahachie has new coaches and an enthusiastic following ready for Friday nights. Itís a following of which I am proud, unabashedly so, to be a part.
High school sports are as much a piece of Texas as any part of our extraordinary heritage and we should celebrate it. Sports, football in this case, and academics create a lifelong pathway for many young people. Arguably, high school sports have had as much of a positive impact on this state and country as that which is learned in the classroom. Both are life experiences of men and women whoíve achieved high levels of success. Our communities are stronger when success is achieved from as many starting points, upbringings, talents and attitudes as possible. Thereís room for a talented flute player, mathematician and linebacker. Thereís also room for a dedicated band director, school teacher and football coach. Talent, in Ellis County, is in full supply.
In a few short weeks, Lumpkins Stadium will light up the nightís sky and the gridiron will come alive. Competition is an element of life that can often serve to make people better and bonds deeper while also giving kids a hope they may not find in the classroom. Itís apparent that Jon Kitna and his staff, along with other Ellis County coaches, believe in developing young men to lead respectable, responsible, honorable lives. If that isnít clear to you then youíve probably been too busy coloring the sky a gloomy gray or attacking the city, the ISD, elected officials, the police, the football coach and his family, the ďpolitical classĒ (a label typically used by those who are about out of labels) or the daily newspaper. Young menís lives are being changed and we ought to not only recognize that, but appreciate it as well. There are those high school coaches who only care about the scoreboard, wins and newspaper clippings but you wonít find them in Waxahachie. Name the last coach you know that spent a Sunday delivering three powerful messages at church designed to compel young people to live an exemplary life. Truth is, weíd all be hard-pressed to name any coach who spends as much energy in serving and teaching as we have here. Every student needs real life examples of what it means to be a servant Ö whether itís as part of a team or as a result of time in the classroom. What students donít need is the encouragement to be disrespectful, hateful and chronic complainers. Our cities and schools are in good hands and so are our football programs, despite the imaginations of those who wouldnít be happy if you paid them.
Itís nearly football season and fans are about to get crazy. And, as far as Iím concerned, thatís the kind of crazy we should all embrace.†††††† †
Scott Brooks serves as the Publisher of Waxahachie Newspapers Inc. Contact Scott at 469-517-1440 or firstname.lastname@example.org.