We’re All In This Together
What a difference a year makes.
This time last year, our family had returned home from our grandson’s state championship football game with a second place trophy.
They showed their family, friends, and fans how to lose gracefully and before the team ever stepped off that field, they made a promise.
“We will be back.” ~ Cade Jensen – incoming quarterback.
And after a lot of hard work and an undefeated season, they were.
As families, friends, and fans watched the Richland Bombers take the field at the state championship game this year, I couldn’t help but notice how different the atmosphere felt in the arena from the previous year.
There was a unified energy, an exhilaration that came from the team on the field and permeated across the stands. It was a confidence that told everyone this year there would be a different outcome.
With a score of 28-21 as the play clock ran down the final seconds of the game, our side of the stadium erupted as everyone began celebrating our team’s state championship victory.
I looked around at the crowd and understood the real meaning of the proverb, “It Takes A Village to Raise a Child.”
This team had worked hard; many of them are seniors and will graduate this summer, my grandson included. And while this win means a lot to them, deep down they know the real prize isn’t as much about the trophy as it is about the people who spent the past four years investing into their lives.
Value of a Village
While a supportive and loving family is the foundation to the success of any child, to raise a fully capable, well-rounded adult, children must experience life beyond their family and learn from those who cross their path.
We pride ourselves on being able to do things ourselves as parents, but the truth is, exposure to multitudes of people and experiences is one of the best ways to help our kids learn and navigate through life. It is one of the building blocks needed to teach essential life skills for our children, and one of the most important things we can show them is to care.
The coaching staff of the Richland Bombers has proven this over the last four years. And the team has lived up to the motto Respect All, Fear None.
Coach Neidhold has shared that winning games is just a by-product of what their football program is all about. And it is evident in the lives of every person on this team.
By showing the team what caring looks like, they have led by example, helping each player grow in self-confidence, love, and respect for themselves and others. They’ve created a group of believers who support and encourage one another and have also taught them the importance of knowing who they are on and off the field.
Over the last four years, these boys learned how to unite and dare to dream, and they developed the tenacity and courage to make those dreams come true.
These are tools they will need once they cross the podium at graduation and enter the ‘real world.’
We Are The Village
“Grab a rock and draw a line…….when you get across that line, you draw another one.” Coach Neidhold
Last year when the Richland Bombers lost the state championship game, it stung, but it didn’t stop these kids from getting up the next day, grabbing a rock and drawing 14 new lines.
Ask any of the players on the Bombers football team, and they will tell you they didn’t get there without the support of their community, or in this case, their village. Family, friends, fans, the student section, and coaches all played a pivotal part in their undefeated season.
Many of these boys will go off to college, join the military, or enter the workplace and they will be a force to be reckoned with when they do. They have the support of their village, their rocks and are ready to tackle each line in front of them.
To the coaching staff, the parents, the players, the fans and everyone involved in one of the best seasons ever, I want to thank you for investing in the lives of these boys. You have helped equip them to succeed and make a difference in a world that needs more love, more caring and more respect for one another.