Tuesday, September 12, 2006


It took two things to spark in me a love for the game. Number one was moving to an NFL city the year before the team made it to the Super Bowl. That would be Charlotte and the Carolina Panthers in 2003. I have enjoyed following the Panthers along with my guys. I’ve had my favorites – Ricky Proehl (now retired), Julius Peppers, John Kasay, Keary Colbert. The boys and I even had our picture on the front page of the Charlotte Observer sports page last year when we went to Wofford to the last day of training camp. Fun stuff.

The second thing that sealed my love for the game is having a son that plays. The football games I enjoy more than any other are Thomas’s PFL games. His team, the Cabarrus Stallions, has not had the best record in the three years he’s played. In fact, his first year, they lost all their games. Last year things started looking up with four wins and a trip to the NACA tournament in Dayton, Tennessee. This season has started off on a high point, with a win over the Asheville Saints, usually the strongest team in the league.

This year, it was all Stallions at Memorial Stadium in Asheville. The defense stopped Asheville time after time, and the offensive line opened up holes for the running backs. (As the mother of a running back, I am especially happy to see my son have some room to run and not get CREAMED every time he has the ball!). Our veteran quarterback was out with an ankle injury, but the JV QB overcame his early game jitters and completed 6 out of 8 passes. Preston McCutcheon caught two touchdown passes, one of them especially exciting as he escaped his coverage and leaped for the ball. It was mostly a running game though, with the rushing shared between Thomas and Ben Holmes, who’s returning after a season out with a torn ACL. Brookes Evington was also awesome on both offense and defense and had some beautiful long, high punts. It was definitely a team effort.

I love watching Thomas play because he plays so hard and never, never quits. In the fourth quarter, after a run, he got up and headed across the field. He fell to his knees and threw up and didn’t look like he was going to get up. When the ref told Thomas he'd have to call the paramedics, Thomas summoned his strength and headed up across the field. After sitting out a few plays, some water poured over him and Gatorade poured in him, he was back in. He scored the Stallions final touchdown, wobbled toward the sidelines and looked like he was about to pass out. When he reached the sideline, he sort of collapsed and rolled over on his back. It takes a whole lot of self control on the part of a mother to keep from running down to the field when your son looks like death warmed over. But when he raised his arms up in the air and started shouting, “WE WON!!!!” I knew he was OK, just in need of water, bananas, and rest!

It was a very exciting start to our PFL season. Next week will probably be the hardest game of the season when the Stallions play North Charlotte. They’re ready and it’s sure to be a hard fought game!

You can always pick out Thomas on the field. He's the one with one red sock and one black one!

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