Hometown Heroes

Leila Scoggins


Hometown Heroes


Movie stars aren’t the only idols walking the streets of Madison. In fact on any given Friday morning a team of hometown heroes is winning the hearts of students at Morgan County Primary School and Morgan County Elementary School.


These heroes don’t wear capes; they don’t have magical healing powers or any kind of super powers for that matter. And the best part of these hometown heroes is that most of them don’t even know they are heroes at all.


Week after week Morgan County High School football players file up College Drive to the surrounding schools. They stand outside before school begins, opening the car doors in the car rider lines. Each player greets the children and their parents with their deep voices. But what these boys of fall might not catch is how the children’s faces light up when their heroes open the door.


Each week, we as school staff get a front row seat to watch the little ones we love so much interact with their idols. We simply step back and watch.


Last year, I had the honor of standing behind a high school football player week after week that was new to MCHS. The first morning he came to the primary school, he told me that this was not the tradition where he came from. When the children got out of the cars and gave him high fives he told me just how special it was to him that the kids to look up to him. He had never been anyone’s hero before. You’re their hero, I would tell him.


Just a few weeks back I met another player, who told me he was injured and would not be able to play that week and wasn’t sure when he would return to the field. He was disappointed to not be playing in the rivalry game against Putnam, but it was evident that seeing the kid’s joyful smiles eased his pain ever so slightly.


These kids don’t care whether you will be on the sideline or making the winning play in the toughest game of the season, I remember thinking. All they care about is that you are on the team and you care enough about them to spend your morning helping them start their day on a happy note.


When the parents pull through the drive on a Friday morning and the door is opened by a teacher they see every day, disappointment flashes across the children’s faces. It reminds me of that player being disappointed not to play in the big game, only on a smaller scale.


So to the high school football player that feels like they don’t matter or that their glory days are over when they leave the field on Friday night, you should know that you do matter. You are someone’s hero, even if only for a short time. You just never know who is watching you.

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