I had come to witness My Hero in battle at his last game on a familiar field. There he stood tall, dark, handsome and confident; ready for battle. The sun dipped below the horizon, stadium lights were hot, flags and lines in place; both teams exhibited preparation rituals in anticipation of the battle to come.
The opening whistle blew; you knew something was going to happen, just not when. The visiting team stormed out, assaulting the defense to score two early goals. With a look of determination My Hero stood, not that easily would he go in defeat, not today! The interaction intensified; the teams became chippy and coarse as My Hero’s team attempted to mount an offensive. The anticipation was growing; momentum was changing as My Hero began to assert his presence.
The ball was passed into the goal box through the opponents. This may be the moment, the crowd sat tall on the edges of their seats. My Hero knocked down the ball with his right foot, made a quick pivot with opponents draped on his hip. Foot on ball, a streak of light darted to the back of the net. Goal, goal, goal! The crowd thundered to echo the lightening of the ball strike, ovation. My Hero raised his hands in approval of his accomplishment, reversed direction to be greeted by approving teammates. The visitors lessen to a size that was less opposing; there was hope that My Hero had enough thunder to make this competition interesting.
As he jogged back to the center line, I got a glance and a smile. He knew that it was he I had come to see and he was glad that I had witnessed. From that moment until the end of the game My Hero was targeted; every opportunity to chip, trip, push and/or rub, they took it; they knew that victory could only be attained if they could contain the efforts of My Hero.
As the buzz in the crowd began to subside, the late crowd arrives. As they shuffled to get to their seats they asked, what did we miss? The answer, the MOMENT! Memorable moments have been missed or lessened, because it’s just not important enough. Not this moment, missed, I have it permanently etched then laser imprinted in the memory banks; I witnessed. Others may have missed it, but the moment was neither diminished nor his ability lessened; it was captured in words, pictures; confirmation of the years these movements were practiced, rehearsed, anticipated, culminated and evident.
The event was the 2/10/2009 game in the Florida High School State Soccer Championship Tournament – Regional Finals. Florida High (FSUS) was opposed by Pensacola Catholic High at Florida High in Tallahassee, Florida. Final Score: Florida High – 1; Pensacola Catholic – 5. This was the last game played by Senior – Eric Nottage.
My Hero lives in me. I plan many more front row seats for the Moments to come.