Caught off Guar
By Scott Newport
Getting caught off guard occasionally happens to all of us but most often it seems to be a negative experience, like finding ourselves speechless after a loss or panicking while glaring at an ignored gas gauge screaming, “Empty.”
This past Thursday night, standing on the sidelines, I found myself caught off guard. Our Royal Oak, Raven, freshman football team had just run over a larger Avondale squad.
After the intense game the fired-up sons of Royal Oak were gathered in the end zone on a knee receiving a collective talk from the coaches. The parents and fans were waiting patiently along the sidelines near the exit.
One on my dreams for my son, Noah, and the team this year started to fade as they silently walked over to their families.
“Wait guys, why aren’t you boys jumping up and down and screaming?” I pleaded silently in my mind. I expected helmets to be shaking in the air above their heads and all of us fans to be cheering and doing an energetic stadium wave any U of M fan would be proud of.
Before I could really dig deeper in my own selfish disappointment the boys gathered in the most beautiful royal blue and black mass of attention I have ever seen. They were so close I could have given a high-five to any one of them.
I had no idea what was going on when it slowly started to all make sense as each boy smiled with helmets now at their sides, like any proud warrior after a victory and started to sing like a well, trained boy’s choir. The Raven fight song was the selection for that special moment.
And yes they broke it down in their traditional huddle too and all screamed at the end, “Beat Hazel Park!” next weeks opponent.
And yes my thoughts of being speechless and fearing I may have had empty thoughts for this season was swept away for that grand September evening.
I don’t know about all of you but this one act really embraces what our freshman team is all about and that is, “Team!” It don’t matter if you played in the game or had to sit out because of an injury, in the end we are one and we, yes, even the fans and families can be part of the bigger picture of one community here at Royal Oak high. GO Ravens!