My unforgettable senior football season was coming to a close. The whole team knew that this was the last game of football we would ever play together. After this game, it would never be the same. I had been waiting my whole life to experience what I was about to face in the next few hours.
To me, and to the rest of my hometown, high school football isn’t just a game; it is a lifelong passion. I grew up watching my role models play the same game I was about to play where the football-frenzied town of Mahnomen won four state championships in a row. Since the seventh grade, my team was expected to make it to the state play-offs our senior year, and now we were playing for the state tittle. We didn’t have anybody extremely fast, strong, or even smart on our team. In fact, no senior would go on to participate in college football. We were just a few guys that would never give up no matter what the circumstances. Those guys were my team, like I was the one leading them all into a battle field, even though that was the feeling of half the other guys.
My team had been nicknamed “The Cardiac Kids” because of our ability to pull out a victory by one point, which we had done in six games that season. Critics thought a team that could only squeak out so many victories by one point was bound to lose their composure in the play-offs. Throughout the season we had worked towards becoming the team we now were. We were proud of how far we had gotten. The only thing left to do was to play our hardest and to see how well we matched up against the best team in the state.
All of this led up to the moment of the State Championship Game. From the locker room, we walked into the dark tunnel leading to the nervous light of The Metrodome’s football field. As a team, we stood, waiting for the moment we would all rush out onto the turf, filled with the energy coming from fans from all over the
The previous game went into overtime so our stay in the tunnel was a little longer than we had hoped. I stood looking around at the people who I had grown up with. This was when it all started to hit me. Coming from a small town, I knew everybody. Every guy their had his own part of himself put into this team. Every guy would remember this moment for the rest of his life.
Familiar noises sprang up from the crowd in that small tunnel. Our captains had their usual words of inspiration. A round of “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple, followed deathly screams and roars let the tunnel fill with energy. It was a moment of anxiousness, of wonder, and of overjoyed feelings. It is the greatest memory of high school I have. Not even the actual game or the awards ceremony following the game added up to that moment in the tunnel. You see, that moment taught me everything I ever needed to know about the word “Team”. Because of what I learned that moment, I will be able to see when teamwork is needed and how to pursue it. You might not think that this is...