Daniel had an amazing season and not just because they ended it as champions for the 5th/6th graders of the league. It was just a wonderful season for him overall. From day one and the first phone call I received from his coach who cared about Daniel and his feelings. As I mentioned before, last year was a tough time for Daniel. I will just put it out there, Daniel did not get fair playing time or the opportunity to grow as a football player. He was miserable and frustrated all season. I was surprised he wanted to play this year and I feared dealing with the same emotions.
When Daniel got in the car after one of his first practices and told me he was going to play center, I was immediately in shock! Daniel is not a big kid and in most cases the centers are big kids because those who play against them are usually HUGE. I wanted Daniel to have playing time but mama bear came out and I was worried he would get hurt. I had nothing to worry about, Daniel can hold his own. He did not let any kid intimidate him. He learned great blocking and tackling from his coach and he often took down the big guys. He was loving his season! He got plenty of playing time and a chance to learn new skills.
Late in the season he was switched out with another boy and given a different position to play. I worried that he would be upset but he wasn't, he just did his best at that position. During their one playoff game, Daniel even got to run the ball twice on extra-point plays and scored BOTH times. Can you say this mama was ecstatic!
What I loved so much about this team was that everyone was in it together. The families sat together and cheered so loud that I think we annoyed the other teams...oh well. We cheered every boy on our team, we were excited about every small victory each boy had on the field. It was such a different experience than last year and one I know Daniel needed.
I am so proud of Daniel and his team. I have so much respect for his head coach who stressed good sportsmanship the entire season. After every game, they congratulated each team. Our coach did not badmouth the other teams (wish all the other teams and coaches could say the same thing). It was just a positive experience.
The Vikings went into the playoffs as the #1 seed and a lot of pressure. I would lying if I didn't admit to having a lot of anxiety. When we went into the championship game I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Our boys were ready and they went out and did their best.
After the game, I asked Daniel how he felt and he told me that he felt important...that his coach had made him feel important. I love that!
Great season Vikings, you truly are champions!
|I love this face!|
|My friend made cupcakes for the boys...love them!|
|Daniel #29 - Center/Defensive End/Bear crawler|