What is the impact of a single good day? How much can a person’s support change the course of an individual’s life? Most of the time, we will never realize the effect that our actions will make on others, but thanks to Kris Hogan, the head football coach for the Grapevine Faith high school team, one Texas town can rest assured that they positively influenced a group of troubled kids. Faith, a leader in the high school football realm was due to play Gainesville, a maximum security correctional facility for youths who had scored two touchdowns in the season that far, and was 0-8. Coach Hogan thought about the team they were due to play, and decided that there was something he could do.
By involving the parents, the community, and his own school, Hogan gave the kids from Gainesville something no one else has; he gave them the support of a community. Gainesville ran into that stadium to the chanting of “Go Tornados.” Half the stadium was parents of the kids playing for Faith, who for that night, cheered on the opponents as if they were their own. And on the sidelines? You guessed it, cheerleaders cheering for their success. One player remarked:
“I wouldn’t expect another parent to tell somebody to hit their kids. But they wanted us to!”
Coach Hogan did have to explain himself to some, as many were confused to why he would care to do such a thing. His answer was simple; imagine that everyone else has already given up on you, now imagine you were faced with a stadium of people who haven’t…a stadium of people who believe in you. Coach Hogan’s idea is the truest one, “You are just as valuable as any other person on planet Earth.”
The reaction was inspiring, true, Gainesville still lost, but you never would have known it by their celebration. Those kids went back, with a renewed sense of what it means to hope, to dream, and to one day, be the one in the stadium. “Hope” is the most powerful belief in the world. Kindness is its mightiest tool.
By: Courtney Kidd, LMSW
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