Thursday, October 07, 2010

What It's All About

I've been involved in athletics all of my life in some capacity: player, trainer, groundskeeper, coach, official. There are certainly things about athletics that are less than wonderful. However, there are sometimes moments that bless us beyond measure. I wrote about one such moment a few years ago. And I want to share another one with you, with permission from Janice Grimes (one of my church members, and the proud Graves County football mom of Ragan & Reed).

Some context: Graves County and Marshall County high schools are very large high schools that neighbor each other, and are intense rivals in all sports, being District One Class 6A rivals in football.
As you may know, Graves County High School lost one of its students last Thursday after a long battle with cancer. Tori Beth Waggoner was just 17 years old, looking forward to her senior prom, graduation and life, in general.

The football team dedicated their Friday night game against archrival Marshall County to Tori and her family. The team members wore black socks and asked their fans to wear black, symbolizing the designated color of Tori's type of cancer. They also had a moment of silence for her before the standard prayer and National Anthem.

After a hard-fought victory against Marshall County, our players sang their victory song to the crowd, as they always do after a win. Then they all went to center field to hold yet another prayer vigil for Tori.

The announcer invited anyone who wanted to, to come down and join the team and members of the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) as they "took a knee" to pray. As the fans flocked the field, I turned to see the entire Marshall County football team running to center field to join in with our team and players to pray!

I was absolutely speechless at what I was witnessing! The rivalry between these two teams is extremely intense, but in times of sorrow, they forgot about it and came together as one to PRAY!

It was a very moving experience for all of us that stood in silence and watched what was unfolding on our football field.

Thanks for allowing me to share this with you. Have a wonderful week!

Janice Grimes

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