REFLECTIONS: Reed City football a true example of team

It has been a week. Lots going on. Some things that looked involved turned out not to be, and other things that looked mighty simple got just a tad complicated. For the most part, however, it’s all good.

This was the week I had a couple stories to work on down in Big Rapids, and an appointment at the Career Center. No, I am not looking for another job. No, not even a part-time one.

While down there, I happened to be in a building that was put on a lockdown. You stay in, and someone stays out. You hope. I hoped.

Anyway, that situation had lots of people in a particular area spending more time together than they expected. It was all good.

Couple days later at an event in Reed City, I was keying in on a cake walk. About a third of the way into the first tune, children going clockwise around a grouping of chairs, the fire alarm went off. First thought, somebody burned something in the oven. Then I realized a cake walk does not set off smoke alarms, so there we were.

I helped usher kids to safety, and about the time we arrived, we returned. It was good.

Now, understand the night before was impressive to me as well. There I was that Friday, covering the homecoming parade in the rain, the football game in the dark, and wondering what it was about retirement that I thought was more difficult than this.

It caused me to go back to work.

I love most of it. Rain, I could do with if I could be inside and the rain outside. Football I love. There I stood though. Pooped from a busy week, and realized at one point I was taking pictures shoulder to shoulder with a team of shoulder pads. Not mine, mind you.

I was thinking that I shouldn’t be where I was. I was surrounded by the Reed City Coyotes. Now, understand, they move about. Me too. Especially when I see half a football team coming at me like a wayward buffalo. This night I had stood firm at some point and got surrounded. There were no buffalo, but there were sure some big players headed my direction and I wondered where I could run if I could run.

I prayed for no broken hips. Mine. Theirs. I didn’t even want to ante in a concussion. We all moved not so gracefully out of the way. Good thing I might add.

Now, this is what I want to say about that football game. Sure, it was a lopsided score, and sure, Reed City had enough players they could have donated some to White Cloud, but I was proud of the guys on “my” team, and I was proud of the White Cloud team as well.

We’re having a super season. White Cloud, I was told, didn’t have enough players to have a team last year, and barely enough for this year. I believe I saw only two “extras” on their side of the field. But they had the courage to show up, to stay and to continue to play. In another year, they could come to play and blow our socks off. By then I think my socks will be safe at home and I don’t mean playing in a baseball game somewhere.

But the White Cloud team has potential. Lots of it. And I wish them well. They have what it takes and they apparently want to do what it takes to be a team and get even better. They did it here.

For the Reed City team, I have something I want to say as well. These young men are truly impressing me. They have been polite, they have been pleasant to me, and when I found myself starting to think I had strayed into a huddle the other night, no one yelled at me or shooed me away, nor did I walk away hearing a swarm of swear words. In fact, at several sports events I’ve been around them, I haven’t heard a one.

Either they’re not nasty or I’m going to need my ears checked. I’m rooting for the first.

I’m proud of those young men. They are not only a good team, but they are good people. They have the potential to go out into the world and change it for the better. And there’s hope for the rest of us. I believe when you catch kids or young people or middle-aged or old folks doing kind things or just being good, they should be told. We’d surely tell them if they weren’t, and this time I do want you to know they surely were.

Congrats White Cloud for the courage you have and your determination to get better, and thank you Reed City for being good players as well as good young men. Don’t let me down or those around you. We all need hope.