1. I love field hockey. When it's nice out I go watch games even if I only know a couple girls playing. Tuesday I watched MICDS beat Lafayette, so today I went to watch the next round when MICDS would play undefeated Ursuline.
2. I love people watching. My favorite people to watch interact are parents and children. I think it's the greatest or saddest depending on the circumstances. I especially love to watch dads in action.
3. I used the wrong hair product this morning... so I had to wear a hat UNDER my helmet as I rode my bike to the game. If not I would have looked a mess when I took my helmet off.
4. There was one black girl between the last four teams I've seen play... this is an important fact.
Here's the story: The other day during the MICDS/Lafayette game there was a day cheering the whole time. He was yelling, "Go Janelle! Nice job, baby!" over and over again. I looked up to see a black man and then made the connection... the MICDS goalie was his daughter. When MICDS won the game he cheered ecstatically... so proud of his girl.
Game start 3:15
Ursuline scored two goals in the first fifteen minutes of the half. The MICDS goalie had a save on a penalty stroke. However, when MICDS called a time out the goalie, Janelle, was replaced. Not but a few minutes later I looked over to see the black man from the day before walking up. He had his camera bag in his hand and was looking frantically around the field. Then, his eyes stopped at his daughter, helmet off, on the sidelines. He hurried up to one of the mom's and heard "the story". To which I heard him say, "That's bullshit".
I continued to watch this dad throughout the game. Most of the time he was just staring at Janelle on the sidelines. His camera never left the bag. My heart just kept breaking more and more. I kept thinking... "I can't believe I am a coach...I would be the one making the decision to pull that goalie". Sometimes it's hard for me to watch sports games for this reason... I hate to be the coach causing that disappointment. Janelle cheered for her team all game. At halftime she wasn't put in and I saw the disappointment grow in her father's face. With ten minutes left in the game MICDS called a time out. Janelle's dad watched anxiously as the team gathered, and then stared disappointedly when they went back to the field... Janelle still on the sidelines. I looked up MICDS's roster on my phone and found that Janelle was a senior and the other GK was a junior. This was her very last field hockey game.
At the blow of the whistle Ursuline (3-0) went crazy. Despite the fact that I was freezing, I couldn't pull myself from the field. I stared as Janelle ran and congratulated the other goalie on her game. I watched as Janelle's dad, proudly wearing the MICDS Field Hockey hat with her number, crossed the field and pulled her into his arms. I thanked God I was wearing a hat so no one could see the tears streaming down my face... I mean I didn't even know these people. At that point I turned away and left the field. When I looked back they were still hugging. I got on my bike and sped home, tears still streaming down my face. I just listened to worship music amazed at how great is a dad's (heavenly and earthly) love.