|Let us not forget Lloyd's eyeball, lost in the battle.|
"Defeat, my Defeat, my deathless courage,
You and I shall laugh together with the storm,
And together we shall dig graves for all that die in us,
And we shall stand in the sun with a will,
And we shall be dangerous.
- Kahlil Gribran
One more trip to Oklahoma City. One more trip to the Big House. One more game. One more piece of hardware for the trophy case.
You gave that to us, Mustangs. You did. You gave us one more.
When you walk into the hall, there are still streamers and small basketballs hanging from the ceiling. There is still paint on the door, telling you to go get the gold. There are still signs on your locker that say, "State Bound."
All of these reminders of what happened on Saturday night. If I had to imagine, painful reminders. I'm here to tell you they shouldn't be.
You gave me one more chance to go see my favorite team from my favorite school play in my favorite place: the state final.
|And let us not forget Coach Clark's tie, which remained the entire game on Saturday.|
You gave me one more chance to tell your story.
You also gave me one more chance to spend approximately $250 on food for the weekend, but we're not going to focus on that, believe me, my beautiful and loving and kind and forgiving (did I mention beautiful) wife has focused on it plenty.
|You can't see it very well in this pic, but that bucket had a lid on it.|
When the final horn sounded on Saturday night, I didn't see anyone on the floor hang their heads. I didn't see anyone cursing, throwing a fit, or mouthing off to the other team. I saw what we all hope to see in the young men who represent our school: dedication, not defeat; pride, not self-pity; and sportsmanship, not petulance.
You gave me one more chance to be incredibly proud of my school, my town, and my students.
|Marcus literally cannot believe how high Caleb is jumping here.|
You also gave one more chance to someone to score a basket in a state final. You did that. You gave that to him. He will never forget it, and neither will anyone who saw it.
|"Travis, I'm sorry, I tried to take a good picture but I was crying." - Alicia|
So was I, babe. So was everyone.
So, Mustangs, if I see you in the hallway with your head down, I will address it. I will remind you that greatness is not measured in the color of your trophy, but in your character, in your work ethic, and in the way you represent our town. And for those, Mustangs, you get the gold.
For those, you are number one.
"Between the pavement and the stars,
beneath the weight of years of scars,
burns the same soul -
paint the sky blue.
you're still you."
- Reese Roper