With Thanksgiving season gone and Christmas straight ahead I have been thinking about some of the things that I am thankful for. I am so thankful to live in a community that values hard work and dedication on and off the sporting fields. I am thankful that my three boys have such deserving and honorable role models to look up to. As I watched a talented football team play out of control with no discipline I was made very thankful for OUR boys and their coaches. Even in tough situations when cheap shots were taken, trash was talked, and the overall frustration of the game, our young men handled themselves with dignity and were respectful even in defeat. Announcing these young men the entire season is a true joy to me, I am thankful for that opportunity.
After the game in the car on the way home my boys were not sad for the loss, which I thought was a strange thing. They were talking about something in the back seat so I asked what they were so excited about. Trevor, my oldest son (7th Grade), was telling his friends that one of his heroes, Taylor Ratliff, had requested him as a friend on Facebook. As a dad, I want to thank Taylor and his folks for a couple of things here. First, thank you for being the kind of young man that EVERY parent hopes his son emulates. With role models like Tiger out there, it is comforting to know that we can turn off the TV and take our kids to watch you and your teammates. Second, thanks for understanding that everything you do is examined by these yound adoring eyes. Third, thanks for teaching us all the value of hard work, team work and dedication. It is amazing to me that with 120 kids we can even compete, much less dominate football games. We have said over and over that Fairfield is a special place. I believe it is because every youth has a grasp on tradition. With one “bad” group, this run we are on could turn and go the other way. Not one of these young people wants to let that happen. Tradition Never Graduates-be it a bad one or a good one.
Lastly, I am thankful for the people of Fairfield. This is an amazing place. If someone is sick, their families are prayed for openly across the pulpits of every church in town, regardless of where they are a member of the congregation. People here are friends. People here support each other in times of good harvest or bad. As we enter the winter sports seasons, we are all excited to see OUR Eagles soar to new heights and accomplish their goals. Good luck, and know that you have an entire community-albeit a small one, behind you!