Good luck to FDA Friday

Published 3:11 pm Wednesday, November 19, 2008

To many of the football players at Fort Dale Academy, this may feel like the longest week of their lives.

The ballgame in Troy Friday represents the culmination of a year of hard work and preparation.

A state championship is the ultimate goal at the end of each wind sprint, at the peak of each bench press, at the whistle closing each tackling drill.

Relative to the legions of young men who have ever buttoned a chinstrap, it is something that can only be claimed by few.

Time will tell if this year’s Eagles will be added to that list. They certainly have a fair chance to win the AISA, Class AAA title.

It will be the final shot for the school’s senior players, most of who will walk off the field at Movie Gallery Stadium having played their final down of organized football.

It will likely be a game they’ll never forget.

Proud mommas and daddies will cherish, a community will etch into local lore and its newspaper will record the details of what is forecast to be a clear, chilly night.

Win or lose, they’ll walk away with valuable life lessons, but few if any will have been learned under the lights in Troy.

Far more valuable than any ring or trophy, these experiences were picked up along the way.

It takes persistence to look out the ear-hole of your helmet and bounce back up for another collision with an upperclassman.

It takes discipline to wake up before daylight on a summer morning for an intense workout while your classmates are still in bed.

It takes fortitude to play through fourth-quarter pain and lift up struggling teammates.

It takes character to play for a coach that demands it.

These victories do not belong to Fort Dale alone. They’re shared by all the young men who played football in our community this season — Greenville, McKenzie and Georgiana.

But Friday evening belongs to the Eagles. Good luck.