One of the reasons that Brayden's been "edgier than normal" (beyond just being a 14 year old boy, dealing with high school academics, and getting through Homecoming) is his let-down in not being able to play in the last couple of football games. With 33 players to pick from - playing teams that are tough - it means Brayden doesn't get on the field. It's a bummer, because he really is talented, but a 90 pound kid is really only capable of so much in his attempts to block a kid twice his weight. Much less a kid that barely reaches five feet can only jump so high to catch a pass or an interception when playing with kids that are easily a foot taller than him.
The following two pics were taken at the field/stadium where my high school used to play. It brought back memories. It was a cold game - and so very long - like 2 and a half hours. And, Brayden didn't play at all. What great friends and family we have in Cully, the Whites, and John's mom for being there despite all that.
This week, thankfully, was Brayden's last game. While the Varsity will continue playing and hopefully moving forward in play-offs, this team is done at the time I'm writing this. Thank God! Brayden will be definitely trying to improve his strength and speed in the off-season - the two things the coaches suggested - and, I think we'll all be praying for his growth spurt to kick in as that will make the biggest difference.
This last game was the same night as our big pumpkin carving party and even as I drove over to the 4pm game, I found myself grumbling like crazy about potentially paying to attend another game that I wouldn't see my son play in - much less leaving behind potential "still-need-to-be-done-before-the-party-projects".
I joined Cully, my mom and dad (Leona was in Vancouver for an antique convention), and, of course, John to watch from the bleachers. We did our usual conversation chatter as Marist worked up the score, when, all of a sudden, Cully alerted us that Brayden was put on the field. (Spotted easily by his height and the pink socks and receiving gloves he was sporting for Breast Cancer Awareness month). Moments later, Marist scored a touchdown. And, then, their team lined up for a two-point conversion....and......the pass was thrown to Brayden....and.....HE CAUGHT IT!!!! He caught it behind the goal line too - so, there you go - two more points.
This mom was going crazy in excitement in the stands - so unexpectedly delighted for our son. But, it was actually what happened on the sidelines that meant even more - his whole team was so happy for him. Brayden's heart has a tendency to endear himself to a lot of people - and they knew the effort he'd put in all season. Ahhh, it makes me want to cry even writing this. Thank you coaches for making this play call - and ending Brayden's freshman season with such a bang.
Praying at the conclusion of the game...perfect way to end it.