Sunday, April 3, 2011
More than a JV soccer game
It could have been any other Jr. Varsity soccer game.
was up by one. Davidson High School scored and they were tied. 9th and 10th grade boys ran back and forth, back and forth. I became tired just watching the boys. The ball seemed to have a mind of its own. Too many times to count, it went out of bounds and play slowed then resumed. Up and down the field, up and down the field they ran. Suddenly there was a shout, “2-1 Davidson.” 20 minutes of play and another goal ; 3-1 Davidson. Three short minutes, 4-1 Davidson and the ball came barreling down the field approaching the other goal, but time ran out. Faith Academy
The two teams came together. Faith congratulated Davidson and then all the Davidson players ran around the field shouting and cheering. We spectators stood up from the bleachers and prepared to greet our players.
Suddenly, all the players came together in the center of the field and quietly stood in one large circle. A hush fell over the stands as we saw red jerseys and white jerseys mixed within a circle, heads bowed. We realized that something very special was taking place.
When Jacob exited the field we asked what they were doing. Jacob quietly said, “I suggested to the coach that we say a prayer for Deonte” (the
football player who had died in a car accident two days prior). I observed that after the prayer all of the players, coaches and refs exited the field in silence. Our 11 year old daughter, Danit, noticed “they are all one team.” Davidson High School
It could have been just an ordinary JV soccer game. But it was not. The athletes imbued it with special significance by remembering a fellow athlete; a friend to some and unknown to others- an athlete who was a good boy with a promising future. Deonte was a quiet and humble young man who was anticipating a college education and playing football for Alabama State; two dreams and two loves.
I cannot speak for the boys on the Davidson and Faith JV teams as to what they will remember about this particular game. Long after the record books are closed I will remember that final scene wherein white and red jerseys stood together in performance of Jacob’s suggestion for praying for Deonte and Danit’s words echoing through my thoughts; ”they are all one team.”