My first blog started when my son, Nick McConnell was in high school. Blogging was still fairly new and I thought it would be a cool way to collect the sports stories that were written about his football team. Well, I enjoyed it so much I started the Bullets Blog his freshman year at Gettysburg.
I want to thank you Nick for giving me the pleasure of following your football career -- Pony (8-10 yrs old), Midget (11 & 12 yrs old), Freshman (8th & 9th grade), and Varsity (10th – 12th grade.)
It seems like only yesterday your midget coach was instructing you (the converted 12 year-old lineman) to not run away from would-be tacklers, but to instead run them over. I can still picture you running across the field to run over a skinny little 98 lbs. d-back instead of taking the straight and narrow route to the endzone! 22 TDs later and a 2nd consecutive undefeated midget football season it was time to show the Cedar Crest Falcons what was coming! Coach Klahr (God rest your soul) you created a monster!
The Cedar Crest days were memorable as well. A coaching change your senior year brought with it the vaunted Wing-T offense that produced two 1,000 yard rushers and a 6-4 season. How fitting that you scored a touchdown on your final high school carry! Even though there were many tears after your last high school game we all new there was still more football to be played. (We just didn’t know where your collegiate career was headed at that time.)
After many college visits (from 20 minutes away to 5 hours away) you found a home in Gettysburg. You talked about how comfortable it felt when you first stepped foot on campus. Wow, was that really 4 years ago already? 4 years and 4 letters later you wrapped up your college career just as you did your high school career, with a jaunt into the endzone!
Never forget the memories… some good, some not so good. They are all a part of the growing process and you’ve grown to be a fine young man. You will be a better person for the lessons you’ve learned over the past 4 years. The lives you touch when you are out there in the “real world” will benefit from these lessons as well.
We often tell you how proud we are of you. That pride didn’t end when you took off the pads for the last time. In fact this is only the beginning. We are proud of the person that is within Nick McConnell the student-athlete. We can’t wait to see where your journey takes you.
You have aspirations to become a coach. I said it before and I’ll say it again. Somewhere out there is a group of young athletes that will have the pleasure to play for a coach named Nicholas Patrick McConnell. They don’t know it yet, but they are destined to be the luckiest bunch of football players in the world.
Nick, thanks so much for the memories. We all look forward to the new memories that you have in store for us!
Love ya buddy!