And so it ends….


Hello coach it’s been four years since I last had the chance to play football with you on the sideline and unfortunately it appears as though my final football game will be this Friday. The game is gonna be at the place where we had some of the greatest battles in pop warner…Oceanside. I would love it if you could make it out to the game. I understand if you can not. I wouldn’t have made it this far without you as my pop warner coach.

Sincerely,
#55 Alex Nowacki

 

That was the email sent by #18 (formerly #55) to his Old Football Coach Woflie. Naturally, Wolfie showed up because he is just great like that. So he was there to console Alex when the game ended with a very lopsided 35-0 score. There were just too many superb athletes already committed to playing at the college level on that team. But, at the heart of it, he had fun. He took my advice and soaked it all up. The team stayed out on the field after to just be together.

He had a couple of cool moments with this long time opponents. A nice interaction during a time out with their #24 who is an excellent corner heading off to play at Stanford next year. He remembered Alex from the scrimmage. The banter was friendly and respectful. Later on, as they shook hands, #24 took a moment to console Alex who was visibly sad of course. Also, during the end of game handshake, the kid who Alex had chased down to tackle in Pop Warner – who later scored the winning touchdown in the mud game – stopped for a minute and looked more closely at Alex and said “HEY! Are you #55?!” Now, how cool is THAT to know that the memories run deep on both sides?

At the end of the night, after getting off the bus, he hopped the fence at his home field – THE home field he’s played on since he was 8 – and just stood out there in the dark letting all the memories drift by. What did he find there?

A left behind Pop Warner football. Of course 🙂

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Downing a punt
Downing a punt

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That's #18 flying in from the corner in an attempt to block the kick
That’s #18 flying in from the corner in an attempt to block the kick

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Here's his encounter with #24 who clearly sees his tears
Here’s his encounter with #24 who clearly sees his tears

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Yes, there IS crying in football. Especially in Oceanside for us.
Yes, there IS crying in football. Especially in Oceanside for us.
Our tight end with just the sweetest smile as he tries to console Alex
Our tight end with just the sweetest smile as he tries to console Alex
One of us was able to smile anyway!
One of us was able to smile anyway!

 

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