It's amazing how God works in ways we do not understand! Sports become life so often...
You came to Van Wert, Ohio on Sunday, October 2nd, 2016 and spoke at our Performing Arts Center. At the time, I was a principal, head basketball coach, father, and husband. My son played football and was in the middle of an 0-10 season. Your words that night were inspiring and since that time have read all your books.
Fast forward to Friday, March 13, 2020as I was named superintendent of Van Wert City Schools and we closed that day and never came back to school last year in person.
We worked all summer to get back to school, 5 days a week, in person, and your email on August 20th to me gave me encouragement to lead and to Press On!
Incredibly, we started school 5 days a week, were able to play sports, and our football team finished the year 5-1 and made it to the playoffs. For 6 unreal weeks our young men kept getting better, believed in themselves, each other, our coaches, and kept on winning...
Last Sunday @ 12:00 our football team played for the State Championship in Ohio Division 4. We were down the entire game including 21-7 heading to the 4th quarter. Our kids never quit and kept on fighting, tying the game at 21-21. The other team scored with 5 minutes left to make it 28-21, but we drove down the field and tied the score at 28-28 with only a little over 2 minutes left in the game. We then intercepted a pass with 1 minute left at midfield and drove down the field. With only 9 seconds left, our sophomore kicker, who had not attempted a FG all year, lined up for the winning kick. What seemed like a slow motion movie, he struck the ball and it just sneaked over the goal post and the Van Wert Cougar Football Team were State Champions for the 1st team sport championship in school history. The team and community that were able to attend the game never gave up or stopped believing!
What is awesome about this story is that the same coach who just 4 seasons ago finished 0-10 is still our coach! He never stopped believing in Van Wert!
As I read your POWER OF THANK YOU email yesterday and shared with our staff THE GARDEN to start the school year, we can't THANK YOU enough for your inspiration and belief to never give up!
Have a blessed THANKSGIVING with your family and we appreciate you in Van Wert, Ohio!