In recent editions of the Athens Review and Cedar Creek Pilot, you’ve read a story about a Eustace football player. Probably played his most important game on this past Friday.

Art Lawler, news editor for the Cedar Creek Pilot, talks about him on the sport pages. He pays a great tribute to him for a football game well played.

I’m not a huge football fan. I’m also not a normal person. Football is great for exercise and creates self-esteem. I am totally in favor of all school sports, including volleyball, softball, basketball etc.

But education is the key to a bright future. Every child should strive for the best education possible. If sports is the reason a student excels in school, that is great.

But, for Shawn Baldwin, this game was as important as anything he may do in his life. You see, his mother was buried last Friday and within hours of her funeral he played what may have been the best game of his life. It doesn’t matter Eustace lost to Edgewood 44-42. It was a well-fought game.

I understand why he had to play that game. My mother died when I was 11 and I have spent my entire life making sure she would be proud of who I have become.

My mother left five girls all under the age of 18. She fought her cancer very hard, but in the end she lost the battle.

My mother taught me how to be strong and independent, even at a young age. I feel my mother is proud of who I am. I know I’m proud to have had a mother, for however short a time, that believed in her girls and inspired us to achieve life’s dreams. She was a strong woman and thank God she taught her daughters to be strong and carry on her legacy.

When I, too, fought cancer my mother kept me strong. I was lucky I survived. But only because my mother would never have let me give up.

From what I have read about Shawn, his mother too taught him how to stand up to the challenges life may bring. Some day Shawn will tell his children and grandchildren about that day. Instead of it bringing sorrow he will have fond memories of the day he made his mother very proud to have called him her son. I know if he were my son, I would be as proud as any mother could be.

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, I believe that with all my heart. Shawn will become a strong, confident adult. Because he showed his strengths when he was a mere 16 years old.

Let’s hope his future brings all the happiness and joy life can offer. Through the ups and downs always remember your mother is there watching over you.

My mother has been gone a long time, but I still know when my life was at its worst she was by my side.

Shawn may not realize it now but some day he will look back at this day and not only remember his mother, he will remember the most important football game of his life.

Shawn, best of luck with whatever turns you may take in life and may you always know your mother stands by your side.

Kathi Nailing is general manager of the Review’s sister paper based in Gun Barrel City, the Cedar Creek Pilot.

Trending Video

Recommended for you