Our Friday Night Lights …

Our Friday nights for the past couple of months have been looking like this: a misty haze cast from stadium lights … the moon between the goal posts … hot chocolate in styrofoam cups … cold bleachers and wool blankets … cheers from the ponytailed squad in blue-and-white (“Hoooold ’em back, Defense; hoooold ’em back…”) … the sudden eruption of the band at the good parts (always heavy on the bass, always), and sudden cheers from the crowd while you try to warm your nose and face by blowing into your palms. …

Ricky on the field at the Estancia game

Ricky on the field at the Estancia game

We’re playing our last game this weekend. And it’s a BIG one: The CIF championship. We’re playing at Angel Stadium.

I get so happy when I see my son out there. He doesn’t play that much, but he loves it when he does. Mostly I’m happy to see him being part of a team and something that’s bigger than him. I feel happy when I see the boys all high-fiving and fist-bumping at an amazing play for 40 yards that brings them all a little closer and brings them to the next level of championship. I get happy when I see the kids drift to the sidelines at the end of the game to stand at the ready while the band strikes up the fight song for them, and the players put their arms around each other and hold their fingers in a victory “V” and sway while their school song is played.

I love that he’s having this quintessential high school experience. …

What about you? What are your biggest memories of high school football?

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If you want to hear how the game (and story) ends, click here.

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8 thoughts on “Our Friday Night Lights …

  1. I have been following your school and am so stoked for Ricky!! It’s going to be a big one. How AWESOME to have this game as part of his high school experience!

  2. Thanks, Grace! You must take the cake for “Friday night lights,” being married to a head football coach and all. I’m sure you have more experience in all these things than the rest of us combined. 🙂 But thanks for keeping an eye on our team and being happy for Ricky — I’m sure it’ll truly be one of those “stand-out” memories, whether they win or lose. He’s always wanted to touch the turf at Angels Stadium!

  3. I must admit to being THE father who got (gets), um, quietly “bothered” when MY SON doesn’t get to play as much ad I think he should-which is the entire game! Laurie, in fact, used all of her wisdom and patience and skill on me one evening after a game to keep me from emailing a scathing memorandum to the entire coaching staff-and equipment manager!!!-on why they are the … Well, let’s just say I was ANGRY. I, thankfully, listened to Laurie and realized she was right in what she was telling me, as she most often is. Pretty much she told me, in her calm and soothing way-if you know Laurie, then you know what I’m talking about-what she talked about here.
    It’s the journey, the experience, the being a part of something that is buildin to greatness, or at least the bonding from taking that journey together. I’ve played sports in some form or another all my life and am thrilled to no end by the physicality and competition, but it took my wonderful and calm and beautiful and intelligent wife, WHO HAS NEVER PLAYED A SPORT IN HER ENTIRE LIFE, to get me to see the true meaning of high school sports. From that moment on, I let go and was just happy that my son was getting this beautiful experience.
    Those games are are wonderful and the memories that my son takes from these years will be with him for the rest of his life (believe me I know) and whether he played every down or was the waterboy on the team he is a huge part of that organization and it’s successes and failures. THAT is what he’ll take with him, and what I’ve learned.
    I’m am excited and extrememly sad for the end of this season because thanks to Laurie and Ricky this has been a magical season!
    Oh and…
    GO BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Chris – Even my husband who gripes about kids, I tell them them, they still come to every practice, every game, and get the entire football team sport EXPERIENCE — on the bus, in the huddle, in the locker room, etc! And he is trying to do his best with maybe 30 kids on varsity, playing teams with 60-90 players. (At least they won league and ALMOST won 1st round of playoffs against a HUGE school. I swear, one pass that wasn’t dropped and that could have been a different outcome. But I digress… )
    But my husband and his friends who played football have a special bond and comraderie that can’t be replaced. It’s like they went through a war together and no one will understand what it was like except them. His friend Kelly said at his 20 year HS reunion the people he enjoyed most reminiscing with were those on the football team with him. They talk about games, even particular plays where someone got hit super hard. Ricky will have ALL that.
    Jonathan and his friends STILL talk about a Homecoming game vs. CM where the refs were throwing so many flags, finally Jonathan picked up a flag and threw it at the ref. He got ejected from the game. They lost. They talk about it like it was yesterday. Plus they had a coach who played pro football for the Raiders, and got caught with cocaine DURING the season and was fired. The coach used his one phone call from jail to call Jonathan. It was big controversy in Laguna back in the day…
    Anyway, in another life, if I’d known anything, I think I would have been a sports journalist. Go, Ricky!!! It’s soooooooo exciting to be playing at Angels Stadium for a huge crowd!

  5. camaraderie, I meant. Geez.

    Oh, Chris, you have a SMART, sensible wife for keeping you from writing scathing e-mails to the coaching staff!!! But we all knew that. 🙂

  6. Grace yes one almost feels like Al Bundy talking about their HS football years but it was such a fun time and experience. I remember I played when our HS wasn’t much of a contender and about the biggest game of the year was playing our hometown rivals and praying that we’d beat them or at least make a good show of it. But that’s not what’s remembered, for the most part it’s the practices and the before and after game times-I suppose if we’d won more championships I’d maybe remember more games…but I digress….
    I suppose win, lose, play or not play much it is the experience much ad it is in life; get out there and try and soak it all up!
    And yes, without my Laurie talking sense into me, there’d probably be many a people out there who would have a “Chris” story to tell…

  7. Pingback: The End of a Season …

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