Ending a 12-Year Football Career

After 12 YEARS, a significant chapter of my family’s life has closed. Football has been so much more for our family than wins, losses, or any plays made on the field. From 1st grade through 12th, football brought us together. It was our ultimate family time, whether we were cheering Will on the sidelines, coaching his teams, or even serving on the executive board of our old youth league. I am so proud of Will’s loyalty & discipline to see this through all the way to the end; there aren’t many players we started out with who made it to the end of senior year. The constant encouragement he has for his teammates is unmatched, and I pray that one day he will coach in some capacity, because he has such a heart (& mouth!) for it. I am sooo thankful for this new season with Annelise‘s wrestling to soften the blow of this chapter closing, but it’s still going to take some time for my mama heart to process…

Rewind to the last few weeks:

10/29: 50-10 win! Annelise & I were Texas freeeezing (70’s to 50’s with wind = no ma’am!) but we actually had fun…until the last defensive play of the game with 1:30 left - Will suffered his first actual concussion of his life. Ugh!!! PRAISE GOD it was sooo mild, but no one (rightfully!) takes chances on these these days, so he was cautiously benched for the next week = Senior Night. :-/ You can see it in his (barely open) eyes post-game:
Two more with Will's BFFs:

We took Will to a head trauma specialist for neurological testing to get him officially, completely cleared during the next week, so he could begin his impact testing back at practice: 4 days of progressively more to get him back to full pads. He passed through every step with flying colors, but obviously not in time for…

11/5: SENIOR NIGHT! We beat our oldest district rival 26-24, securing 3rd place in the district (just behind 2 teams that are serious *state* champ contenders.) Before the game, all of the seniors were honored, with us parents walking our players on the field:
Fans in the stands and post-win smiles:

They ended the regular season 7-3, the 2nd best record in school history! They earned a playoff berth that was played 11/11, the day after Annelise’s first wrestling match. (Talk about an emotional rollercoaster for this mama, with such a dramatic new season of life starting + one of the most precious seasons of our lives ending within 24 hours!!! #emotionalwreck)

Will’s (41) last time running out onto the field…
Will‘s BFF Bryce’s mom, Marcee, has become my BFF this fall, and we couldn’t pass up getting a pic with the Spartan on our last night:

They lost their playoff game.

It was not unexpected, but it still really hurt when the reality set in. Everyone cried. Bless Annelise - she was a bigger bawling mess than I was! She cried for 20 minutes straight from the last pic to this next one, as they came out of the locker room to get on the buses for the last time. It made my mama heart SOOO PROUD, though, to see how much our football family life has meant to her, too! She’s literally been his cheerleader since the first play of his first game. (It was her first game to cheer at 4 years old!)
Lovelovelove that the boys orchestrated posing for this themselves before getting on the bus:

And for proper closure: our very first season (& Will’s only season of flag) 2010
Will’s first season of tackle in South Georgia, 2nd grade - 2011 (Annelise in Kindergarten!)
Our precious Falcons family KYF years… 2012-2015 (I was always Annelise’s youth cheer coach, but to have JB coach Will’s youth football team 3rd-6th grades was priceless!)

I can't believe this is it... Pray for my mama heart and this transition for all of us...


  1. Okay this about brought me to tears!! Truly an end to an era in your lives, but what a blessing to have so many precious family memories wrapped up in football. I totally understand the need for prayers for your mama heart!


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