This blog is simply the story about my little life
with my sweet family that the Lord has blessed me with
and the day in, day out things that we do.
It basically is my online diary/photo album of our life.
I'm glad you're here!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hayden's college football season....a true learning experience

Okay, so this story starts about a year ago when my son Hayden's high school football season ended for good (click here to read about it). He was a senior and the team went to the State playoffs, but they lost and it was all over. He was an awesome football player and received honors for first team all league on both the offense and the defense teams and he also received State honors on the second team defense.
Hayden's football career began at an early age.
It started with flag football in the third grade getting 5 touchdowns in his first game. His Daddy was the coach. Hayden played football every fall ever since then. He played flag football, then Pop Warner, then middle school football, then high school JV football and then varsity football for his sophomore, junior and senior years.
He was a really good football player. He did not want his football career to be over. His dream was to play for a small college. So, he put together a video of his senior year highlights and we sent it off to several colleges.This was a long and stress-filled process. He had lots of interest, but the school that  Hayden chose was Pacific (click here and here to read more about it).
Hayden, my husband and I all toured the campus and met the coaches and we all felt very good about it.  Hayden felt so welcomed there and felt like they were really excited to have him. While there were no promises of Hayden playing, we were led to believe that he definitely would be getting some playing time. My husband and I really felt like they would take good care of our son. So, on August 4, 2012, we took him up to college and left him in the hands of the coaches for daily doubles. Hayden called us when he could and he said he learned that his football training in our small high school is far below that of the college level. He said athletically his skills were up with everyone else, but mentally and fundamentally he was not.
Three weeks later we went up to Pacific to see his first game (click here to read about it). He's #32 and his was the first moment we saw him in his college uniform.
I teared up with pride!
Oh the anticipation!
Will we get to see him play today? It was disheartening to see a sea of football players on the sidelines. The roster has over 150 names on it!
As the game went on we saw that Hayden was never called in to play.
He watched the game from the sidelines.
Needless to say, we were disappointed. Not in him of course, but that he didn't get to play.
We were still so proud of him and so very happy to see him!
A couple of weeks later they had a scrimmage with another school which was basically a JV game. The whole family went up to see Hayden play.
We had fun!
When the offense is playing, the defense team has a quick meeting and the starters get to sit down. You can see Hayden standing there behind the bench.
My nerves were on edge. The first quarter went by and he did not get in.
The second quarter went by and he did not go in. I tried to keep a brave face and happy heart, but I was so sad for my son. I was praying that the Lord would allow him to play.
Finally!!! Finally #32 got out there!
Oh it was so good to see him out on the field again.
This time for the defense meeting...he got to sit! haha!
He got to play for most of the second half on defense. Unfortunately, though, the ball never went his direction, so he did not get to make any big plays.
After the game, the whole family went to see him and congratulate him.
And then we went out to dinner.
Eric and I traveled and went to all of his games except the two that were out of state. Here we are at the Willamette game, at Willamette.
Every time we went to a game, we hoped he would get in.
But, alas, it did not happen. We talked to Hayden a lot about this. It really is the way it is in college ball. Very rarely do freshmen get in. We just wish we would have been told that before he signed up. I think we all would have done better knowing that he would not get in the games. I also think that God has a lot of reasons to not have Hayden playing right now, perhaps to keep him safe, perhaps to have him in a place of trust and growth, who knows for sure, but we are trusting God.
I love seeing him in his uniform!
Proud Mama!
Proud Papa!
Do or die, we are fans until the end! Here we are at the homecoming game against Whitworth. It was a good game, but we lost 25 to 28.
We got into this new fun routine of taking him out to dinner after the game. On this night it was a delicatessen.
Me and my boy!
Two of my favorite guys!
Oh how I hate to say good-bye.
There he goes, heading back to campus on his scooter. We knew we would not see him for two weeks because the next week's game was in Tacoma, Washington and we were not planning on driving up there.
So....two weeks later, we were back at Pacific!
Look at how fall has descended upon the campus, it's beautiful!
There he is third guy from the left, #32, standing on the sideline again. By this time we were all expecting this, so it was more more enjoyable to watch the game.
Still handsome in his uni!
We brought up bottled water, soup, a broom and other supplies for him.
We sat and waited for him in front of his dorm as he changed out of his uniform.
Here he comes!
Tonight it's Mexican! We always have such great visits. I think we are all getting used to this.
The next week it was an away game at Lewis and Clark.
It was pouring down rain!
Thank goodness we wore our rain gear!
Pacific won 42-20!!! Here comes Hayden.
He was happy to see us!
It's always so good to see this kid!
As a side note.......I feel this way about all of my sons, I'm so proud of all of them. Hayden's situation is different though, the other boys still lived at home at age 19 and when they moved out, they were just across town, not this far away. I don't want it to look like I have favorites, because I absolutely do not. I LOVE ALL OF MY SONS THE SAME! I am so proud of each and every one of them.
As per usual, he did not get in the game again, but it's okay. We've accepted this.
We were waiting for the coaches to walk by so we could sign Hayden out to get a ride back to the college with us.
This time we had steak for dinner!
I love these dinners that we get to have with him.
We feel so blessed that while he is far away at college, it is still within driving distance and we are so thankful we get to see him every week like this and catch up with him!
We said our good-byes and dropped him off again at the dorm.
I hate this part....driving away and leaving our boy.
One week later.....we're on the road again, eating fast food and driving to Pacific for the last home game.
Wow! Look at the campus now! The trees are glorious!
There's our boy!
It was cold, time for hot chocolate.
We were so excited! Pacific was doing so well! At half time it was Pacific 17, Willamette 7.
We scored again! You can see Hayden jumping up and down! The whole team was so excited. Last time we played these guys, they killed us 51 to 17.
Sadly though, they came back and beat us 35 to 31, it was an awesome game. Again, #32 did not get in. :0(
What a cutie!
Here he comes out of the locker room. Hayden gets to walk through this beautiful courtyard every day!
We wanted to find a restaurant that had a sports bar in it to watch the University of Oregon football game. We found one in the next town over, so Hayden decided to drive so we wouldn't have to back track on our way home.
 I, of course, jumped in his truck with him!
We stopped at Wal-Mart to restock his dorm. He has really grown up, he grabbed the cart and pushed it all around and did all the shopping. It was so impressive to see him bargain shop as well. It makes me proud!
It was so funny to see this. Before he moved out, I was the one who always pushed the cart and did the shopping and he just tagged along. Surreal!
We took him to a sports bar and watched the amazing Ducks.
We had an awesome dinner! Hayden had a turkey club...
...I had a french dip...
...and Eric had a bacon cheeseburger.
Once's time to say goodbye.
Yesterday I posted about his last game and the fun weekend we had with that.

The football season is over and Hayden never did get to play in a regular season game. It has been very frustrating and definitely a time to trust God. It's hard to understand why God led him to Pacific for football if he was never to play. Was football the catalyst just to get him up to Pacific and God has something else special for him planned up there? He mainly went up there for football with track as kind of a side interest to him, perhaps track will be the big thing and football will become second? Who knows.

At times like this it's even easy to think, "Did we hear God wrong?" but when I remember how much we prayed and fasted and sought the Lord's wisdom with all of this, I KNOW that God led Hayden here. Maybe next year he will get a chance to play and to use his talents that have been given to him by the Lord.
So, he's gone from doing this on defense.....
...and this on offense and playing in every single game for almost every second of the game to this.......
....watching from the sidelines. There's no doubt though that this has definitely been character building for him.
The season is over and now he has a lot to think about if he wants to make the huge time commitment of almost 40 hours a week for three months. The good news is, now he has a year of college football under his belt. Next year at daily doubles, he will be year older and wiser, have a year of college football experience, he will be bigger, faster and stronger. I think next year will be his year!

Until then......
...he has another dream that he's had since he was little...and that is....
...running track!
He did so good last year,
...I wonder.... will he do in college track? We will have to wait and see!

"O Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your words are trustworthy, and You have promised these good things to your servant." II Samuel 7:28

Hugs, Sharon

1 comment:

adsgram said...

Another great post, Sharon...Wishing you and your whole family a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

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