Last week I watched greatness in action as the Weston-McEwen TigerScots challenged the Heppner Mustangs for what was to be the Blue Mountain Conferences premier football showdown.
In league play, both teams were undefeated. Heppner, the perennial champion, was proudly guarding its 80 consecutive game winning streak. The TigerScot record was unblemished.
As both teams went through their pre-game workouts, it was obvious to all this was not going to be your average high school football game. You could feel the enthusiasm. Not surprisingly, dads were pacing back and forth as they reminisced about their days on the gridiron. Moms were critiquing how big the other players looked. There was not an empty seat in the stadium. With a flip of the coin, it was game time.
As the announcer asked all to rise and remove their caps for the singing of the national anthem, I just happened to witnessed a big muscular TigerScot football player assist a young man, who was immobile in a wheeler chair, prepare to participate in this sacred song. I thought that was kind of cool, but I was here to watch football.
Then, two minutes later, as the TigerScots were heading out for the opening kickoff, I watched player after player give high fives to what I now realized was the TigerScots greatest fan. I was now impressed.
Throughout the tough hitting game, no matter the circumstance, this young man was there to spiritedly encourage his team mates, and to receive his share of high fives including one from the TigerScots starting quarterback, Elliot Salter.
The game was played and there were many hard hits. There were some great runs and some even more amazing passes. Both teams fought to the end. Unfortunately, only one team could win.
After falling to Heppner, in what obviously was a most difficult loss, I witnessed the TigerScots best defensive player, Drew Greenwault, go over and give a final high five to his still enthusiastic fan. But, that is not all. Greenwault, who had left everything he had on the football field, dug down deep one more time, and kindly wheeled the young man onto the field to join in the teams post game huddle.
Good job, Drew Greenwault. Good job Weston-McEwen parents. Your boys are real champions. I applaud you.
Rep. Greg Smith