Oct. 25, 2004
What makes home so special? To me, home is a unique place that holds all your memories and helps define the person that you have come to be. Growing up in West Texas was absolutely amazing. I look back on all the wonderful memories and friendships that I have and I often wonder how could something so unbelievable come from the simplicity of Hereford, Texas? The people you’ve grown up with: the kids that you went to school with since you were in kindergarten, the local restaurants, your church home, the place where you got your first traffic ticket, the Friday and Saturday night hot spots for high schoolers, the neighbors, the summer’s spent at the pool, the childhood games of pitcher’s mound in your back yard, and the all important sporting events that were the town’s means of entertainment.
To set the record straight, the Hereford cow is the mascot. This cow has a maroon body and a white face, hence the name: the Whitefaces. Volleyball and basketball games expected full bleachers, where it was seldom that a seat would be open. Let us not forget the “Friday Night Lights.” Football in Texas is a way of life, especially when the team is predicted to be successful. The anticipation of Friday is felt throughout the town. People gather at Troy’s Donut Shop in the morning to drink coffee, discuss how bad we need rain, and talk football, throughout the week. Some of the more prestigious football fans even stop by the coach’s office to share their game plan and football knowledge. There is a pep rally every Friday at the end of the school day. The old high school gym is decorated with signs and the football players are dressed in their jerseys and seated in the middle of the floor with their “game faces on.” (So funny to think about now)! You can drive through town and see painted windows and buildings that say: GO HERD or Hereford Proud! There are signs when you enter town that have our playoff history for not only football, but volleyball and basketball as well. Every game is a full house, and we don’t have a rinky dink sized stadium.
As the football game begins the entire stands erupt with the chanting, in unison, of GO HERD clap, clap, GO HERD! We’ve had our good seasons, decent seasons, and not so good seasons, but there is just something about those Friday nights that brings our community together. When you are a little kid you can’t wait for the day to follow in those high school athletes footsteps. They are like idols to you. You grow up getting to know them and their families and hope that one day you can be like them.
You know, all these small details bring the biggest smile to my face. This silly stuff means so much to me. I was reminded of how much I miss home when I went to see the movie “Friday Night Lights.” This is a great depiction of Texas football in the small town atmosphere. It may seem a little extreme, but for the most part, it hit everything right on the head. I’ve heard that the book is much better. I won’t talk too much about the movie, because I don’t want to give away anything to those who
I look back on all the wonderful memories and friendships that I have and I often wonder how could something so unbelievable come from the simplicity of Hereford, Texas?
haven’t seen it, but one of my favorite parts of the movie is the end, after the state championship game is over, the seniors say good bye, and the movie is coming to a close. Each main character comes on the screen and there is a caption at the bottom of the screen that goes on to say what happened to them after high school. A few of them went on to play collegiate football, but not at any big name schools. However, more importantly, each had their respective families, jobs, and successes off of the field. Football was a huge part of their lives and helped them develop into hard working, ambitious men, but their lives outside those lights is the point of the movie.
I truly believe that being an athlete is like a microcosm of life.
(Wow – that sounds pretty cheesy!) Training your mind and body to be disciplined, having faith, persevering when things get hard, being humble in your accomplishments, working together for a common goal, making sacrifices, and being emotional because those hurts are common factors in both life and athletics. So, someone remind me that I am becoming a stronger person, when I am running my tail off in practice today! He he.
Have you ever been on a rollercoaster? There are different stages of a rollercoaster. In the beginning, things are easy and you start off pretty slow, gaining speed. You’ll experience some bumps, but nothing dramatic. Then the steep incline begins to approach the peak of the rollercoaster. There can either be fear in this approaching, or excitement. . Then you hit that peak, it lasts for just a second, and the speed and adrenaline drive you through the remainder of the ride. You are one of two people, you respond to the situation with excitement, or you are sick and throwing up in the trash can besides the cotton candy booth. This analogy seems to sum up our season right now. We got ourselves into a position to enjoy the ride, we were right in the thick of ACC competition, with the peek being our game against Miami. The momentum of a big win would gain us some momentum and help carry us through the rest of the ride. Instead we were left with a sick feeling in our stomach, knowing that we should have done better (Editor’s note: FSU lost to Miami, 2-3). However, the true test of this team will be if we will get back on the right track and eliminate some of those loops and drops and work ourselves into another opportunity. We can’t take back things in the past, but we can control how hard we will work to make it better. A lot easier said than done. I know that this team has the ability. Our coaches have the tools to lead us there. It is solely in our hands to accept the challenge.
My Life outside of Volleyball:
I have to talk about my new friend Sarah Scruggs. College is the time of your life. The time you are supposed to go outside of your comfort zone and meet new people. I was introduced to Sarah by my friend Drew, and then got to know her through Fellowship of Christian Athletes meetings. People are put in our paths for certain reasons, and this girl is absolutely amazing. She has a joy about her that makes me happy just to be around her. To meet wonderful people is so comforting and such a blessing.
My Dad (Frank Giffin) is going to travel to Georgia Tech and Clemson this weekend, to spend my birthday with me! I am so excited to see him.
Well, there were several different things that were on my mind, so I touched a little on each one. I hope that everyone has a wonderful week! Drop a note if you have time!
God Bless and Go NOLES!