We’ve always told out boys that they don’t have to be perfect but they should always do their best. They don’t have to bring home straight A’s as long as they are trying and putting in the effort. The same goes for sports.
The high school in our town does not have a hockey team. A group of parents have been working hard to start a team. This of course has thrilled Drew. For now, they have created a club team that combines three towns. The students are in grades 8-11 – which leads to quite a size range! Drew, although a 9th grader, is one of the smaller players. This doesn’t stop him though. He is not as skilled or as fast as some of the boys who have been playing for years, but he still gets out there and puts everything he has into it. They had their first game tonight and although he didn’t score, he got a few assists and at the end of the game, he was just…happy.
It is just like football. I don’t think I wrote about it on my blog, but last summer, he came to Dave and me and told us he wanted to play football. Of course, we said, no, reminding him of his two concussions. He also never played real football before. He persisted and pestered and finally, we decided to let him try out for the kicker. We never thought he’d make it, but we also knew it was one of the safer positions if he did. Drew, all 90 pounds of him, put every bit of effort into those summer practices. He went everyday, went over and beyond and when it came time to announce the team, he not only made the freshmen team, he made varsity! The coach made a point of telling him and his teammates that he earned it due to the effort he showed each day on the field.
Drew knew he was not the best on the team. He was by far the smallest – the program listed him as 5’3″ and 95 pounds – and that was being generous! He doesn’t care. He put so much heart into those games. He didn’t get into every game, the team had a pretty bad year and so there weren’t a lot of opportunities, but he was still there at every practice and on the sidelines, cheering on the rest of the team whether or not he got in or not.
He has never been a strong student academically, and having sports to keep him motivated has been huge for him. He’s not going to college on an athletic scholarship – we all know that – but he’s having fun and when Drew is happy, everyone is happy.