ONCE IN A LIFETIME
By mark rogers
December 21, 2009
I am a bit jealous of the 2009 Abilene High Eagle football team.
They did something on Saturday that very, very few high school football players ever get to do...that millions of high school football players have dreamed about (or dream about) having a chance to do.
They won a State Championship.
In 5, 10 or 20 years, not many people will remember who won the Class 5A Division II title. In the grand scheme of things, not many people know Abilene High won it this season.
But what this team was able to do against a two-time defending state champion is something that every 2009 Abilene High Eagles football player will remember vividly until the day he dies.
They'll remember what the locker room smelled like.
They'll remember what the Alamodome sounded like as they emerged from the tunnel for warm-ups.
They'll remember what the turf felt like under their shoes and hands.
They'll remember specific plays in flashes...a Katy defender falling down in front of them...the feeling of the ground after a solo tackle...the roar of the crowd after they made a huge play.
They'll remember the feeling when the clock hit zero and they were champions. Hugging their teammates. Crying with their coaches. Hoisting that trophy. Shaking their heads in disbelief. It's over. There are no more games to win. No more teams to game plan. They are the best team in the state of Texas.
And when those memories enter their consciousness (which will happen numerous times a day), a lump will form in their throats and they'll have to fight back tears of joy...or sadness after a few years have past and they long to be able to live the experience again.
Sure, they could repeat next year and win it again, but it won't be with this same exact team. It won't be exactly the same.
That is a completely unique and once-in-a-lifetime feeling. One they'll never experience the same way again. But a feeling and a memory that will never fade. Not even a little bit.
I'm jealous because the 2009 Abilene High Eagles won't have to sit around in ten years (like my friends and me do) and talk about what could have been...or how close they were...or if they'd only known that freshman Selvin Young was a complete stud maybe they would have wrapped him one time!!! He was just a freshman! How were we supposed to know he'd play for the flipping Broncos!!!
But I digress.
99% of all HS football players will have to sit around and talk about those things.
1% won't. Actually less than 1%.
1% will get to wear a ring on their fingers and be able to call themselves champions...forever.
I have to admit, I got a little misty eyed when the buzzer sounded and the team stormed the field.
The mist was equal parts happiness for the team and a feeling of having a small idea of what that must feel like because I was so close.
Abilene High joined Plano, Brownwood and Southlake Carroll as the only teams in Texas with 7 state championships.
And in my opinion, they have the best chance at becoming the only team with eight before anybody else.
Congratulations Eagles. You've done something rare. You're state champions. And no one can ever...EVER...take that away from you.
« HEISMAN THOUGHTS