It’s that time of year again. As I sit here typing this, with my morning coffee beside me, my son and my husband are at the second weigh-in and tryout for the Upper Loudoun Youth Football League. This is Wil’s sixth season playing tackle football (he’s 12, soon to be 13), and he absolutely lives for it. Who would have thought that my intellectual, somewhat bookish, computer game-loving son would be happiest strapping on shoulder pads and cracking helmets on the field? I was certainly surprised.
I write about youth sports quite a bit here on LoCoMusings, not in small part because I have four kids that participate on varying teams in Loudoun. My three girls all play softball (two within the Western Loudoun Girls Softball League, and one for the Loudoun Storm travel team), Wil also played lacrosse with Western Loudoun Lacrosse, and this year two of my daughters will play basketball with Western Loudoun Basketball in the winter. One of the best things about raising a family in Loudoun is the smorgasbord of activities across the county that the kids can choose to participate in.
What my son and daughters have learned from their team experiences is how to work together with their teammates, a sense of camaraderie, and a quiet confidence (well, sometimes loud confidence, but still) that comes from doing your best and having success with it. You can’t put a price tag on seeing your child completely excited with their achievement, and proud of him or herself. Worth every moment spent in the stands to get there.
Football is a huge time commitment, not only for my son but for our family. My husband helps coach, and practices (starting the second week of August) are every weeknight until school starts, then twice a week plus Saturday games through the fall. What you see at the practices though, is the best of western Loudoun: families spreading out to watch, moms and dads chatting, little brothers and sisters playing together, picnic dinners. For games, parents and siblings (and grandparents, too) dress in team colors and rattle cowbells to fire their boys up. True community, and I’m looking forward to it. I love being a football mom!
By the way, please mark your calendar for Upper Loudoun Football’s second annual Football Fest…it’s slated for Saturday, August 28th, at Loudoun Valley High School. There will be music, food, and exhibition games, and it’s the primary fundraiser for the league for the year. Keep an eye on the league’s website for more details.