I have to tell this story for all the moms out there who have turned their own lives upside down in order to make their children happy. And with the approach of Thanksgiving, this couldn’t be a better story to remind all of us to be grateful for those women who helped shape us and who often went outside their comfort zones for our sakes.
St. Ignace High School, located in a small town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, has a decent football team. But with a student population of only 215, there has been very little interest in the team. In fact, they didn’t even have the support of a cheerleading squad this season because they had no cheerleaders.
When the team made it into state playoffs, they were surprised to discover that they finally had a cheerleading squad, and what a squad it was! About sixteen mothers donned their sons’ football jerseys, did some quick hamstring stretches, and stood along the sidelines cheering their boys on. They even put together a cheer routine for a school pep rally, stunts and all.
Coach Marty Spencer admits that he never really heard the cheerleaders on the sidelines in the 25 years he has been a coach at this school, but with these loud and proud moms cheering on their boys, he couldn’t help but hear them. He told the 7&4 News Team reporter, Andrew Keller, “I haven’t seen a group of moms do what these moms are doing.”
Those who were in high school in the 70’s would have recognized their cheers, since they were revisiting golden oldies like “hold that line” and “defense.” And along the way, the mom’s were also having fun. Paula Mayer, whose son plays for the team, said it “gives me a bit of my youth back.”
The moms claim that they had no choice but to get out there and support their boys. Nate Monte’s mom said, “I know it pumps them up!”
Coach Spencer said, “Most kids do anything for their mother; I know I would, so if it gives us that little edge, that’s a great thing.”
And how did the football team feel about their moms leading the cheers? Nate Monte, a senior on the team, told 7&4, that his first reaction was, “Wow, that is my mom, she’s cheerleading, what’s going on?”
Another senior on the team, Chris Gustafson, said, “To have my mom on the sidelines, it’s pretty crazy!”
Crazy as it may seem, these moms accomplished exactly what they set out to do, because apparently everyone in St. Ignace was on the football bandwagon. In fact, the team was undefeated heading into their game this past Saturday against the Eagles, from Fowler High School, in Fowler, Michigan. Unfortunately, in spite of wildly ecstatic moms on the sidelines, the Saints lost 45-8, dashing the Saint’s hopes of becoming state champs.
But these boys and their moms are hardly losers even though their championship dreams may not have made them football champs. In fact, it really doesn’t matter that they lost because what they won is far more precious than any football title and far more lasting: family. And family trumps football any day of the week.
So, boys, feel bad, but not for long. Say a cheer for your moms who put it all out there for you on the sidelines, because what you won in the last few weeks can never be taken from you, unlike a football title which will be won by someone else next year.
Nate Monte couldn’t have summed it up any better when he said, “I could ask for a blonde, a brunette, but my mom will do.”
You guys could have asked for a state championship title, but your moms will do!