Fellowship Of The Stick

Jim Hurd •

To the editor: I could write a book about how I feel about every member of this state champion team but one moment that stands out to me was when I met 1st grader Ryan Davis. On a gorgeous late sun-drenched afternoon at the Deltas, he was out there for little league T-ball and had just finished up. It was my first year of helping out ACK Lax and I got a feeling he wanted to throw the ball around.

I presented him with the idea and we ended up throwing it around for about a half hour and I just knew that he had a knack for the game. For whatever reason, I have such a poignant memory of this occurrence. Whether it was the beauty of the day, the enjoyment of throwing the rock around this future state champion, or both, it’s still crystal.

I told this story to him the other night after they won the title, and he proceeded to say some of the kindest words ever spoken to me, finishing by telling me that he loved me. He then moved on back to celebrating with his brothers in arms and I can’t explain the feeling of satisfaction watching them relish the double whammy of graduating one day and state champs the next.

All season, on game day, when Captain Cole Chambers would shout out “Who’s got my back?”, in unison the team would answer back “I got your back!”. For me, this is the defining testimony of the fellowship these young men feel for each other that they’ll carry for the rest of their lives.

Thanks, Ryan for throwing the ball around with me that day, I’ll remember it for the rest of my life.

Jim Hurd

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