Dear Benjamin Russell football seniors,
I know there’s an emptiness — that feeling like you’re forgetting something on a family trip but you’ve packed it all up. Charger? Check. Phone? Check. Toiletries? Check. It’s all here so why do I have this feeling?
You were robbed. There’s no sugar coating it. A storm tore through and destroyed the ending to a great story — the team that fought for each other and didn’t give up. You weren’t able to play your last game on the high school football field with your brothers.
Sometimes when it comes to a good story, it takes longer to write. The first couple chapters were written quickly, just like you grew as a person. But now we have reached one of the conflicts in that story and the author, aka the Big Man upstairs, has to sit and marinate on what he has in store for His storybook ending.
The way you can take it into your own hands is doing great things within the community. Being great men and leaders of the community trumps any victory on a football field. Brotherhood and the bonds you have built will last and carry you a lifetime. It’s truly amazing the relationships you build with your teammates on those long bus rides where guys are cutting up and laughing. The celebrating on the way home from a win and the crying in the locker room following a close loss are special moments almost all teams go through.
Adversity makes you a better person. You heard it from Kendall Graveman at the quarterback club meeting. This season didn’t define you; it helped shape you into better young men and made you stronger as a group and as individuals.
I can’t promise you’ll forget about playing the game. I miss it every moment of every day. It’s the greatest game ever played. I think about football memories on a daily basis. I wonder about ex-teammates and check in with them from time to time. I challenge you to keep up with one another and support one another no matter the path your lives take. It always makes my day whenever an ex-teammate reaches out to me. I become flooded with memories I hadn’t thought about since it happened.
Use this time to reflect on those moments. Cherish the little time left with them because after high school you may never see them again in person. Support one another in basketball, baseball or whatever sport. Be the senior class that made a culture of building each other up in a world where everyone tears each other down.
Ryne Gallacher is a sports writer for The Outlook.