Tre is the starting quarterback and plays linebacker for his team, the Dacula Falcons. Saturday was our third game of Tre’s second season with the Gwinnett Football League. Barry is a coach and was here for the scrimmage and the jamboree as well as the first two games before he had to leave to go back to work offshore. Tre leans on him heavily for feedback, for reassurance, for criticism and for accolades. He looks to his daddy not only as his support and his role model but also as his example. He compares himself and the way he plays to the way Barry played the game. He hasn’t quite been able to grasp the difference, however, between him being a 6th grader and his dad being a collegiate/professional athlete.
He compares himself to Barry at his highest level and doesn’t realize that he puts way too much pressure on himself at 11 years old. I try explaining to him that football was FUN for his dad in middle school and it should be FUN for him as well. It’s not so bad when Barry’s here because Tre gets that immediate reaction, but when Barry is gone Tre pressures himself even harder because he wants his film to be spectacular, but then he gets inside his own head and it affects his focus which ends up adversely affecting his game. Barry flew out on Wednesday. Saturday was a rough day for Tre – the first game of the season without Barry. They are like two peas in a pod; Tre is pretty much lost the first week that Barry goes back offshore and it really never gets any easier for him, but football season is the WORST.
He was feeling less than confident without his dad on the sideline and after a rocky few plays, I could tell he was still having a hard time so I pulled him to the side and I asked him, “Who is always with you?” He told me God is always with him. I asked him who is always with his father. “God,” he answered. I said, “Then just remind yourself that since God is always with both of you, then you and your daddy are never far apart. God keeps you both connected in the Spirit. Your Father God will always be exactly where you are and because He lives inside your dad as well, your daddy will always be here, too. Even when you can’t see him, you can feel him. You can hear him. You know what he would tell you after each and every play, so just hear it — and then go out there and do the best you can do. Now, it’s 3rd down. They need you. Take a deep breath, calm down and get out there and GET IT!”
My son walked out onto that football field and the first pass he attempted was incomplete. I started praying, “God, calm him down. Slow his thoughts and help him get the ground underneath himself.” I expected Tre to be okay, but I honestly didn’t expect what came next. He started gunning the ball with that cannon he calls an arm and looked just like his father on the field. I had a hard time not tearing up watching him fight through groups of tacklers, dragging them along as he ran the ball and at one point he threw the most gracefully flawless touchdown pass I’ve ever seen him throw and I completely lost my mind! Watching Tre on that field last weekend took me back 14 years to Barry’s junior year of high school. Tre proved that he can do it on his own — he doesn’t need his father next to him. He’s got it.
I had flashback after flashback of a star athlete with his whole career ahead of him whose entire life revolved around Friday nights and I saw my husband in my son play after play and realized that Tre has no reason to need to compare himself to Barry. He has so many pluses in his corner that between his raw ability, natural talent and the presence of an amazing dad in his life, he will far exceed what Barry accomplished, which is exactly what we want for each and every one of our children — to do better than we did; to be better than we were. Tre has no idea, but he’s already destined for greatness and it’s so very apparent that he’s on his way there.
My baby boy showed out during Saturday’s game!!! The whole team was on point — our guys were blocking and using their instincts to set up and execute some great plays. His best friend Winston ran the ball like a pro and was literally ready for WAR after the refs called back one of his touchdowns, our new running back, Perkins, was end zone to end zone without a care in the world, Drummond was popping off touchdowns and then laying the hat on the defensive side of the ball, Albury was tackling left and right; Daishawn, Tre’s other best friend was using his speed to make sure that if he wasn’t in on the tackle, he was RIGHT THERE where that ball was ready for it at all times and our kicker was kicking the FIRE out of that football. It was a beautiful game and ended with a 32-0 blowout.
Above all, though, I was so proud of Tre. Emotionally, it’s very difficult for Tre to function in this sport without Barry here. It takes time for him to recover from Barry leaving. Football is their *thing* and it’s something Tre has to have time to adjust to doing without Barry beside him. Over time I’m sure it will get better… but if Saturday’s performance was any indication of how Tre is going to function during the next few weeks of Barry’s hitch, I’m certain that the Falcons are going to be just fine! They played with SO MUCH HEART last weekend. I was truly proud of all of our boys.
Don’t miss these plays:
- 2:47: Tre runs the ball for a gain!
- 4:00: Tre throws a FLAWLESS touchdown pass (looked to be about 23-25 yards) to Perkins who ran it about 35 yards into the end zone — it was like deja vu from last weekend!
- 7:00 — Tre runs the ball and gains additional yardage with several Buford Wolves attached to him ;)
I can’t wait until Saturday!!! Brookwood isn’t going to know what hit them ;) If history truly does repeat itself, they will go to the championships this year. Every team Barry ever played for was an underdog — he won a championship in high school, he won a championship in college (the college’s first time in 27 years), he won a championship in NFLE (the organization’s first time in history) and the NFL team he was signed to won the Superbowl that year (Giants – 2007). Last year during Tre’s first season, the Dacula Falcons went to the playoffs for the first time. This year, we’re going all the way! Our team is on fire and our boys are hungry for it! We just have to work on these penalties (we actually scored 50 points to Buford’s ZERO, but had three touchdowns called back!) and our team will be unstoppable!
A few photos I captured during the game:
#12 Tyreek Perkins
#55 Aldolfo Garduno
#38 Jaylen Drummond
Tre asking the coach for the play…
The boys setting up shop! ;)
#8 Winston Gassant
Head Coach, Greg Cox, talking to the boys for a minute:
Tre telling the guys what the play is going to be:
Tre and Daishawn Green amped up after the win!!!
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