from Buddy Boylen
GHS Class of 1988
A Note to the senior class and spring athletes of 2020…
I am sure many of you are still scratching your heads thinking to yourself, “Did this really happen? Did we really just lose the last half of our senior year and all of the events that traditionally occur at the end of it?” Well you are one of many thinking the same thing. A PANDEMIC…Seriously?
Having been in Law enforcement for over 30 years now, seven years of which were spent in the schools as a resource officer, and having three kids of my own come through school like so many of you, I have seen a lot through the years and I am familiar with all the “seasons” of your high school career, but this is a new one for me as well. My heart goes out to you having these opportunities taken away from you. But, there’s so much more to “your” story that is yet to be written.
I remember being an assistant coach with the girls and boys varsity soccer teams and coaching a group of young soccer kids. I recall thinking how much fun it was to watch them all develop as players, but more importantly as people. I realized over the years that there was more going here than just playing a sport, these young people were maturing into young adults and learning much as to what it takes to be successful, in more than just sports.
I had the opportunity to watch many very talented athletes pass through our hallowed halls. What was so rewarding to watch was that as the years passed, I now know sports was just one of the building blocks used for the very important foundation for success. I think back to high school for myself and as a coach and realize just how small of a percentage of kids actually continue past high school with sports. Don’t get me wrong, I love sports as much as anyone, but there is so much more to life. Unfortunately, there are those who put all of the “proverbial” eggs in the sports basket and when the game is over, there is little left for anything else.
My wife introduced me to a word mid-way through our child raising years, the word is BALANCE. Such a powerful and meaningful word, but also very simple. Too much of any one thing is not healthy. Having balance in your life is a skill that will lead you to many successes. Sports offers so many lessons that can be easily applied to life. I look at kids that may not have had a God-given gift of athletic ability, but their work ethic, attitude, dedication to the team, knowing their role or place and how they could contribute led them to be very successful in their adult lives. The “recipe” for success is really synonymous across the board, whether it be sports, work, marriage, parenting…the list is endless.
Looking back at high school, people say these are the greatest four years of your life, and that may be, at this point of your life. But your life is just beginning and you will be amazed at the treasures that are just waiting to be discovered. It’s the NEXT two to four years that will be very critical as they will set the tone for the rest of your life. Time to embrace the challenge and go after it. Just like sports, you will reap what you sow, put in your time, commit to the goal, and work your tail off and then enjoy the fruits of your labor.
And lastly, when you look back, try to look beyond your “lost time” and just embrace the opportunities and the relationships you have been part of. I dare say that a few of these relationships will be life lasting. Whether it be a teammate or a coach, you share a bond that few do. Embrace them as they are rare.
Please keep an open mind and trust that God has a plan. Look hard to find the positives in this crazy time right now. Count your blessings every day and be thankful for all you have been blessed with. Your life is just beginning and it truly is all on how you go after it, attitude and work ethic, will lead the way.
I look forward to watching you go on to be great people in the community, like so many others, the future is bright. COVID-19 may have taken away a portion of your high school, but don’t let it control your future, for it is bright and yours for the taking.
God bless you all.