I told ya’ll I’d tell the boys first football game stories. Dallas’ game was first.
The week started with Coach getting them ready for the big game.
Then the week was winding down with Dallas’ first football game. I was so nervous I thought I was going to puke. Literally. I was so excited for him too. Seeing him get off that bus with his team mates was exciting for me and I know it was him too. First time ever riding a school bus. His friends are helping him out alot and showing him the ropes and I appreciate that. Me and Dad are sitting in the stands and I am sporting my t-shirt I had made for me to wear to his football games with his name and number on it. The first time he runs on that field you know what’s going through every kids mind…….”I’m goin’ in Mom!!!!” Yea, I was crying. My heart skipped a beat or two. He did so good. Dallas is not scared to take a hit…for Heaven’s sakes he takes karate. You have to take hits. He is aggressive and will learn how to use this to his advantage in football too. However, he is not a fast runner and we are working on that. I was video taping, yes, I’m one of those moms that doesn’t want to miss any Kodak moment, and all the sudden on one play Dallas gets bull dozed from out of no where. I didn’t see it coming either. My heart sank as he hit the ground and rolled over. He was kind of dazed for a moment but got up and walked off like a boss. He didn’t say anything or tell anyone and just shook it off. I was very proud of him for cowboying up. It was a close game and our boys fought hard especially in the second half. We were going against a team who has won three championships. They were fired up in the second half. I really enjoyed watching. It was a great first for Dallas in Jr High Football. He had a great time with a headache to boot. The next day he said he had a headache and his eye was a little blurry. His forehead was scratched and bruised with a knot. But he wore it with pride. What is it about boys with bangs and bruises. I guess its called rights of passage? Nothing that a little kiss want take care of cause thats all he wanted and maybe a Tylenol. He’s a tough one.
Then that Friday night was Dakotas first game at Scott’s Hill. Once again this momma is excited and nervous at the same time. Yep, I’m sporting my t-shirt I had made for him too.
Got my video camera rollin again on my big guy and he is doing awesome. This year he is playing two positions and he’s rockin both. My heart was just thumping all night. Good hits and he’s doing his share of bull dozing. We are cheering like crazy cause we are in the lead.
The school starts having trouble with the lights and sound equipment on the field. So, out goes the lights. Well, its starting to get dark and the boys are having trouble seeing the ball. They have to get someone out there to fix it.The game is delayed a little til they get someone there. The lights come back on. Finally, one play ends and were all excited cause some flags were thrown and problems occur. One is, there is a player down on the field. Someone is hurt. Time goes by and you are wondering who it is and what happened. Time stands still. Time went by, no one is saying anything. We’re all wondering how bad it is cause hes not getting up so quick. I still don’t know who it is. Then I heard the whispers…..#33…..Dakota………my friend heard it before I did and gave David one quick worried look and he gives her a look like…”shhhhhh…..dont say it”……Well, it registers what these boys whispered and I screamed….”Thats my kid!” My heart sank and I’m getting nervous. Time stood still even more. I see them roll him over because he was lying face down and they would not let him move. I’m figgiting by this time and can’t stand it anymore and I literally yell out to one of the assistants and tell him he better tell me something…..He replies, “I dont know!” I yelled a quick, “Well, go find out!” He replies, “I can’t go out there.” Im loosing it at this point and wanting to run out there myself, but they really don’t want mommas running on the field everytime their baby is hurt so I’m trying to hold my composure at the same time dancing a little jig. I’m also thinking of Dakotas dignity as not to embarrass him cause momma is getting upset. Finally, I see coach coming towards the stands looking, I know he was looking for me and dad. I flag him to show him where we are, and he motions for us to come there. My heart sank even lower. They do not come get you unless something is wrong. I threw my camera down and jumped down out of the bleachers and thinking to myself….”Oh God, not my baby, please let him be ok!!!!!” I heard the boys say……”Get out of the way!” and they cleared me a path. Bless them, cause I would have ran over anyone who got in my way. I get to coach and he tells me hes ok, he can answer questions now and he now has feeling in his hands and feet and he wants you. What? That lets me know he was hit hard enough to daze him a little and cause some major issues. I grabbed coach, literally, by the hand and drug him out there with me. I left my shoes behind cause I couldn’t keep up with flip flops trying to run. I knelt down beside him and they were getting him to move his toes and feet and he could squeeze the trainers hands and he could answer their questions. He was improving but we were not out of the woods. He was hurt too bad to move and they were afraid he would damage something further so they wanted to take precautionary measures and not move him at all. They called an ambulance. I was so scared cause a simple kiss the boo boo was not going to work this time. Finally, here comes dad on the scene. He is the quiet one and calm one who sits in the shadows and doesn’t say a word. But, I think maybe this time he was getting worried. Dakota, however, was not wanting to cooperate and kept wanting to move and wanted that helmet off his head. We couldn’t even do that cause the pain and burning in his neck was so bad. We kept trying to tell him he could not move and we could not chance taking off his helmet til the ambulance got there. A physical therapist can only do so much. Dakota, being the stubborn one he is, reaches up and jerks his helmet off. The trainer then holds Dakotas head in his hands the rest of the time for fear of doing even more damage. The bad news is, they tell us it will take 20 minutes for the nearest ambulance to get here. All ambulances were out on call. In the mean time, my phone is going crazy, people calling and texting. My gosh, news travels fast til I remember it was playing on the radio. Thats how everyone knew so quick. Dallas finally comes out too cause hes worried about brother. As were waiting impatiently for the ambulance, a first responder comes out and gets info and is asking questions. Dakota was hit from behind and slung and popped his neck again. This is not the first time. This makes at least 6 times since pee wee football he has been hit so hard and done this to his neck. It seems as though time just froze.
I’m praying so hard. FOOTBALL WILL MAKE A MOM PRAY REALLY HARD, TRUST ME. They finally call out his best friend from the side lines to help calm Dakota down and give a few words of encouragement and I know Hunter was worried. All Hunter could manage to do was grab his buddies hand and cry and say…..”I love you man!!!!” Then Dakota broke and started crying and replied, “I love you too man..” my heart melted at the love and worry between best friends. I knew exactly how he felt. Little did I know this was the scene on the side lines as we waited for ambulance: His teammates and coach gathered in a huddle and prayed for him and so did the cheerleaders. I did not see these pics til later. To know that our kids may fuss and fight amongst themselves sometimes and not know each other as well as others, then, to come together and pray for their teammate is an awesome feeling. We have an amazing group of kids who have each others back in time of need.
Finally, what seemed like forever, the ambulance arrives. They tell me they don’t think they will let me ride with him. Oh, don’t tell this momma that, cause I’ll jump on the back if I have to. They had to get an ambulance from another county to come. They pull on the field and park beside us cause we were still not going to move him. They get him all loaded up and they let me ride. Well, I insist. I told coach to get these boys fired up, take names and kick butt and win this thing.
We have to pull off field so they can resume game. They start working on Dakota. They are hooking him up to everything possible and Uh Oh, I forgot how much he hates needles. They tell him they are going to run an IV and here we go. He starts protesting. “You’re not sticking me with no needles!” I thought he was going to come off that bed board. Here we go, I have to almost hold him down. I grab his hand and talk to him and try to calm him down and explain why he has to have one. Then he says, “OK, but you better tell me when your fixing to stick me!” Bless it, he always said the same thing when he was little. So the nice paramedic gets ready and counts, one, two, three and stick. I thought Dakota was going to go through the roof. He yelled and shook like a baby. Shhhhhh, don’t let him know I told you that little secret, you know, hes a tough guy and all. They are checking all his vitals and hes showing a little improvement with mobility but they still want let him move his neck also they have him strapped to the bed board. But he is still in pain and burning, now he doesn’t like the stupid IV. I’m trying to comfort him the whole way there. It was the longest ride ever cause we were so far away from nearest hospital. On the way there, people were texting me telling me how the game was going. It got serious then. The boys kicked it in high gear and got fired up and did exactly what I asked them to do. WE WON 48-27. I told Dakota and he was so proud. David and Dallas are behind the ambulance in the truck. He keeps calling to check on us. I know hes worried but like I said, hes the calm one. We get to the hospital and they take us in. We get in a room and they start hooking him up again to everything and taking his vitals. I know Dakota is worried but like a man he doesn’t show it. By now hes wanting to know if his girlfriend is coming to see him. Hes forgot all about me. Yes, shes on her way. That makes him feel better. They do neck xrays and a cat scan and results were ok. Nothing broken or out of place. That is a comfort. It just slung his neck so hard and possibly popped it again that it caused so much severe inflammation and a knot on his neck. Everytime he has been hit it has left a knot. They fix him up with some prescriptions and they discharge him. He is starving to death at 2:30 am so we find somewhere open so he can eat. We get home around 3am. We are all exhausted. As I put them to bed that night, this prayer came to my mind.
As I lay my football players down to sleep
I pray the Lord their souls to keep
If they should get hurt in a game
I pray the Lord you hear their name.
I got much comfort from that prayer. However, I’m going to be a nervous wreck come next game. Dakota has to be re-evaluated by a dr before Friday to possibly get cleared so he can play again Friday night. He can’t practice any this week and he feels helpless. He hates it and pitched a fit but daddy put his foot down. If someone could kindly talk him into wearing a safety neck brace during the rest of the season I will greatly appreciate it and go buy one. But he is a stubborn one and says he will not wear that stupid thing. Did I mention how stubborn he is? The coach says he has alot of country meanness in him. Boy is he ever correct.
We did nothing but rest Saturday cause we were all trying to catch up on sleep. I got up and went to get his prescriptions filled so he could start getting better. That Sunday I couldn’t hardly get him up so I let him stay here with daddy in which he slept really late. He just needed to take it easy. Later that evening daddy thought he needed some therapy so he took him fishing for father and son time. He was very careful with him and took some pain pills with him just in case. Even when Dakota is hurt he still catches more fish. Poor daddy.
He went to school Monday morning and he was slow getting around and is still sore alot. He was late for a few classes and he asked them if they gave him tardies. They told him no and that they understood. His AG/FFA teacher affectionately calls him JR told him to come in and have a seat in daddys chair behind the desk. So Dakota sat in the comfy chair all during class all stretched out. His bestest buddy in the whole world, Hunter, followed him around all day taking care of him. He was so worried about him. He came over to see him over the weekend and thought playing X-box was good therapy too. The Physical trainer is helping him this week with his neck and doing some heat therapy with him. He said it makes his neck feel better. Since he did not get to practice, one of the coaches asked if he could stay that evening and help coach the tight ends on the Jr Varsity team for their game that night. That made him feel helpful again. They won their game too. He will get to run through plays so he can still play his position but he will not be hitting and they will be very careful with him. He says he wants to lift weights to stay in shape and work out some soreness……sure son,…..just give me more to worry about. But I know Dakota, he is strong willed and knows what he can do and can’t do and is determined to beat this. For that I am proud. God will use this experience for Dakota and most of all for his glory. We may not know what yet, but some day we will understand. We have all thanked the good Lord for his protection, even Dakota has prayed and thanked the Lord. He has thanked everyone for their prayers and concerns. I think he was a little overwhelmed at everyones kindness, calls and texts.
Dallas has another game this Thursday night and by the Grace of God, Dakota will play Friday night as well. We will see how this week goes.