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  • John Macon Gillespie

Column: Victory Is Waiting For You



The season is winding down. That means for many high school senior football players across the state, their days of strapping on the plastic and lacing up the cleats are coming to an end. Yes, there will be a select few that will continue their careers at the next level but for most of the seniors; these final weeks are all they have left.

I encourage you seniors to look back at your time as a football player. Look back to the very beginning. Reflect on what started it all for you. What made you want to play? Who in your life made playing the game possible? For most of us there was someone who was always around. That person took us to practice, bought us our gear and cheered us on every step of the way. When we triumphed, they triumphed. When we hurt, they hurt. Think about that person as you come down the final stretch of your career. Play for them. They have earned it. So go out with a bang.

That being said, it is now time to get down to business.

It is now time to lay it all on the line. It is time to empty out. Everything you have ever worked for has led to this moment. The peewee practices that taught you the game all the way to the dreaded two-a-day’s in the unforgiving Mississippi summers have prepared you for this final stretch of the season. This is the final stretch of your high school football life.

These games matter. Some of you are fighting for your playoff lives, others are already in and longing for that opportunity to bring home the trophy as a champion. But even for those who will not play in the postseason, these games are just as important because they will shape how you are remembered.

These battles will be intense and will give answer to the questions that you have asked yourself over the years. When that alarm clock goes off for that early morning workout and it is still dark out side, when your body is screaming for you to stop but your heart pushes you through, all of the sweat, all of the pain…this is the reason. This is why you hurt. These final games give meaning to it all.

Hall of Fame NFL coach Vince Lombardi once explained this best and I will close with his words.

“It is essential to understand that battles are primarily won in the hearts of men…Well, men, let me see your hearts. Victory is waiting for you.”


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