Saturday, March 23, 2013

It's Official. The Next Chapter is Near

I was definitely not the best player on the team. I was definitely not the fastest, most talented, strongest, or smartest player on the team. However, every single practice and every single game I played for the QHS Blue Devil soccer team I poured my heart and effort into every minute. Many kids in Quincy grow up idolizing QHS Blue Devil basketball players and play out the waning seconds of a game on the Blue Devil court, in their back yard. I would probably be lying if I said that Casey and I never did that in my back yard or on his driveway (which he usually beat me....but only because he broke some of my ribs and continued to re-break them every time we would play), but it was the soccer field we dreamt about daily. This early love of the game carried on well after my "career" ended. I was lucky enough to become a coach in this program after I returned to Quincy after a two-year "vacation" in Florida.

For the past seven years, this program has been such a huge part of my life. The guys that I coach with are family (literally when you count Cousin Eddie a.k.a. Eric!). They have become some of the best and closest friends a person could have. As I have mentioned before on Facebook and on posts, people on the outside would think we hate each other the way we joke around and give each other a hard time. However, it isn't everywhere that you find a group of guys who coach together have a tighter bond off the field that extends to families. It is rare that a couple of weeks will pass and at least some parts of the "group" don't get together and go destroy some food at a local establishment. Another crazy part is that all of the coaches over the past 7 years, all of the assistants and JV and Freshman coaches have all played for Matt at some point in the past. Eric, Travis, Ron, and myself and other who have helped out all played for Matt...some of us a lot longer ago than others! Just last night, several of us were texting back and forth at 10:30 while all watching the USA game in the blizzard in Colorado.

Even more important is how thankful I am for God's plans that we never see or fully understand. I am so thankful that God instilled this love of soccer in me so that I would eventually cross paths with Bob Cowman. If it wasn't for this intersection, I would not be where I am today. God knew all along that he was going to use this person, and our mutual love of the game, to bring me back to Him. For this, I am forever grateful.

I knew it was coming, but I wasn't ready. I was ready, but I wasn't ready to not be a part of this. However, it finally became official at the board meeting a few nights ago. I know Hayden will need surgery sometime in the future and I was worried that it would come in the fall next year, or that he would have dr. appointments that would take me away from the boys. Last fall, Matt, Eric, and Travis all stepped up and helped me out a ton when I had to miss some days during the season, but I didn't want to do that to them again. Not that I am the best choice for that level, but they need consistency and they don't need to worry about that level. I went back and forth about resigning this position for the past few months and Kelsea supported me whatever I chose, but I finally gave into what my heart was really telling me! When I leave in the morning for work, I am jealous that Kelsea gets to stay home with Hayden. However, the end of the day is so exciting because I know I get to see and hold him shortly. That feeling far outweighs and satisfaction I felt when I was coaching and being a part of the Blue Devil Soccer tradition.

I already miss it when I get the e-mails about Burlington and fundraisers and I know it will be hard to keep me away next fall. I have a feeling Hayden, and myself will be hanging around fairly often, trying to help out if I can. It's a chapter in my book that was a great one and I am sad to see it end. However, like a good book, I know the next chapter, and many more to come will be even better than the ones before it.

The following pictures are only a portion of what I have and they all are connected to QHS Soccer and my time with it in some form.

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