(Disclaimer: Some pics in this post are sideways. I don't know why, and I can't figure out how to fix them. So humor me. Or e-mail me and tell me how to fix them.)
To most of you, this looks like your average football field.
To my dad, this field represents countless hours of hard work, dedication, late nights coaching, and, most recently, yet another undefeated season for his team at Hunter Middle. Oh, and? No opposing team even put a point on the board. Just thought I'd add that, too. So, all of these reasons and more make it even more appropriate that the name of this new field is in honor of my dad: Eaves Field.
On Thursday, we surprised my dad at the sports awards program at his school. He had no idea that the field was being named for him, or that we would be in attendance. This is Coach Richardson, Dad's assitant coach and former student, announcing the big surprise. My dad was shocked. He was even more shocked when our entire family rounded the corner.
After several standing ovations, a speech by Dad's hiring principal, the county commissioner and a school board member, my dad thanked everyone, including his family. I had already been crying since we walked into the gym, but this sent me into the ugly cry.
The audience included the student atheletes at Hunter and their families...
...all of which came to my dad at the conclusion to hug him and congratulate him.
We attended a reception in the libary following the program...how perfect is this cake?!
This is my dad and Mr. Sterchi, his hiring pricipal. Hunter Middle opened in 1995, which was my 8th grade year. So, my dad was my art teacher! (I got an A, woo-hoo!)
This is my dad and his two assitant coaches, Coach Nau and Coach Richardson (what up, Crystal!). They're responsible for arranging the covert op that enabled our family to crash the program. My dad also loves working with them.
Coach Eaves and his family (we miss you, J!)...
They say behind every great man is a great woman...
Me, Dawson and my dad. Let me just tell you, it was a wee bit surreal to be holding my kid in the hallway I used to walk every day when I was 14.
My dad in front of his art room...he's been an art teacher for more than 28 years. That's A LOT of finger painting. (So kidding!)
Ah, yes. My humble baby brother. This is the plaque for Outstanding Leadership Award...both of our names are on it. Brandon will be quick to point out his is on there twice. (Duh. Seeing as how I was only there for one year.)
Afterwards, we ate lunch together at Cracker Barrel...
...where my dad's day was topped of by a phone call from Afghanistan.
Jason was on the other end to congratulate him.
There are days that you keep locked in your memory...ones that are epochs in your life. This day will always be one for me.
Next time you're in Ooltewah, swing by HMS to check out Eaves Field!
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