The following letter was sent to Royal Oak Patch by Scott Newport, a Royal Oak Chiefs dad:
Seven years ago I asked Noah what he loved about football.
“Getting a flag, Dad. That’s what I like.”
Even though Noah was only seven years old, I knew he had the instinct to be a great team player. It was his first year on the flag squad and my first experience as a football parent. That year I learned to love the life lessons taught on the practice field and scoop up the proud tradition of what it means to be a Chief.
This fall is the thirty-year anniversary of the organization and will be our last year with the Royal Oak Chiefs family. If I asked Noah, #34, today as a varsity player he would say, “Hey Dad, you see me get that tackle?” I wanted to talk about his two touchdowns.
I just can’t believe it’s about to be over. I’ve had the opportunity to see not only Noah grow up, but all of his Chief brothers—some of them over six feet tall. A few guys have even been injured this season, leaving their mark on the hallowed Tom Farley practice field, just east of 13 Mile and Crooks.
Matt had an arm injury, Carter sprained his hand, and Drew did something to his knee and, yes, even Noah has had his fair share of bruises as a power full-back.
Over the years I don’t think I have missed a game or even a practice. There is just something about watching over 100 kids in red and yellow practice uniforms and a mass of youth cheerleaders give it their all four days a week. The crew of volunteer coaches and staff are pretty impressive too. It’s all about positive teamwork, engaging community, and intense pride.
Last week I asked General Manager Ken Heinzman and Varsity Coach Gail Fredrickson if we could do something special for the graduating members of the team. They agreed and here is what we came up with: “Leaving our mark on the field for the next generation.” (See attached photo.)
Congratulations to the boys of 2012. You are all leaders in my book.
See ya on the field!