In the office we get the weekly Cass Co. Newspaper, published in Casselton, North Dakota (about 20 miles directly west of Fargo). For my family, it is very similar to the Smith County Pioneer or the Oskaloosa Herald.
The extension office has a weekly column and every few weeks I am charged with submitting an article (its a daunting task and completely stresses me out for the 7 days prior to submission). The copy makes the rounds to each office and eventually is tossed on mine - where I read it thoroughly to learn all I can about our new home.
This week, I was delightly and extremely proud to open up the "B" section of the paper, browse across the articles and find on from the Director of the Parks and Rec Director, Stephen Bartholomay. Low-and-behold, during his weekly commentary - which typically details upcoming events in the rural communities - he ventured from the norm and described the similarities between a small Kansas community and sport program and how it parallels to that of his small North Dakota Community.
Which school you say? Well of course, Smith Center. He recently received the book as a gift from his wife during a vacation in Florida, read it (of which he proclaimed - the best book he'd read in a LONG time) and was inspired to write his column in the books' and communitys' honor.
Feel free to read the article for yourself. Select Section B (Dec. 9th edition) and scroll to page 3 (article entitled OUT OF BOUNDS, Stephen Bartholomay).
I felt it my duty to call Stephen up this morning, introduce myself and thank him for such a nice sentiment - its what anyone would do! He was a delight to visit with and wished the best of both the team and the community warm thoughts and blessings after recently finding out the team was defeated in the championship game.
While many of the people who read this blog probably think - "Who cares? Its just football, its just a book." Its about more than that, its families, schools and communities who stand behind their kids, support them and have goals, hopes and dreams for those kids way beyond football.
I'm glad others in the country (including those way up here in North Dakota) can find comfort in the moral of the story rather than the actual record and championship trophies shelved in the halls of Smith Center High School.