October 25, 2013: A Good Friday Night

Zach carpooled to the tailgate and game with another Skutt alum, sister to the QB 
It probably is sounding like I am turning into an obsessed high school football mom. Wondering this myself, I've given it some thought. My conclusion is that I'm not. Definitely excited and having fun, but not obsessed.

It's so much more than a football game. I think of it like a whole ball of happy events, relationships, and circumstances; all thrown together on a Friday night.

I'm actually a pretty simple gal. Those who know me, know this. Those who don't, are looking for something more complicated. They're not going to find it. Vanilla. Maybe vanilla bean with sprinkles on a good day, but I'm definitely a simple vanilla at the core.

Everything about our Friday night football nights encompasses the simple pleasures in life.

The people. I have a huge affinity for my fellow senior parents. We are an eclectic, but tight group. And our circle is not closed. It is very welcoming. We welcome all Skyhawk fans to our tailgate and cheering section.

Most tailgates include football fans from alumni years and underclassmen parents. We bring our own parents, aunts, and neighbors. All to cheer on our Skyhawk football team. Victories, like last night, many times lead to post-game celebrations with our extended Skyhawk family.

Family. It warms my heart to watch my other boys support their brother on the field. Although the twenty year-old (and thirteen year-old) have much going on in their busy lives, they don't miss Ben's games. They are his biggest fans. The huge Lane extended family pack the stadium each week to watch Ben play. My dad follows the games on-line in Arizona. And best of all, Ben appreciates all their support. Just what a mother wants. A grateful son.

The school. Skutt is an awesome school. It has a great sense of community and support that spreads over all sports, grades and academics. My first experience as a Skyhawk football fan was years before Zach stepped foot into high school. My brother-in-law coached football at Skutt. Scott, the boys and I were avid fans. We felt like the school carried the small town feel that we were accustomed to. We loved it and were welcomed as part of the Skyhawk community; even without a child in the school.

The boys. These kids are great. I have watched most of them grow up together. Ben has played football alongside Joe since second grade. Sam entered our lives the beginning of Ben's freshman year. He has been nothing short of an extension of the family since. Both he and Austin have gone with us on family vacations and are in many of the pictures that have captured Ben's years at Skutt.

Five of the boys have gone to school with Ben since kindergarten. As their parents, we have enjoyed and survived our grade school years together with the many birthday parties, sleep overs, and sporting events. Several of us have other kids in the same grade. I look forward to enjoying Skyhawk games four years from now with these same parents.

The sense of community runs long and deep. And it isn't just with those who have been together forever. Just this year I have fostered relationships with parents whom I hadn't know well before. I wondered last night how I went through three years at Skutt without knowing these awesome parents. We now share life together as though there was never a day that we didn't know each other.

We don't know what tomorrow will bring for our football players. What next week, next month, next year will look like for our boys is both a mystery and a hope. Our enjoyment of last night's win will be short-lived as they begin preparations for playoffs next week. The boys will keep working hard. And the coaches will continue to focus them on one game at a time as they go for their ultimate goal of playing under the championship lights of Memorial Stadium.

As for today, we football parents will just encourage them and cheer them on as their biggest fans; bonding together and enjoying the ride. This is the easy job. No doubt that this Skyhawk contingent will  continue to enjoy the most simple pleasures in life; good people, a great school, family, and some amazing young men just enjoying a little game called football.    

Skutt - district champs with 24-14 win over previous year state champs, Gross HS


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