“I will never get the opportunity to stand on a football field again. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.” Those were the words I whined to my mom so she’d let me go to a football game in Virginia Beach 3 years ago.
When I was in high school, I got the opportunity of a life time. I wore a jersey and stood on the sidelines of the playoff game with Hampton High School’s football team at of my senior year.
It was my last high school game. The cheerleaders glared at me enviously as I carried the cooler and talked to the players, one of whom was my cousin.
Coach Smith was strict about letting girls onto the field because he felt they posed a distraction to his players. I was an exception. That made me feel all the more prideful of my position.
I love football so much that I vowed I wouldn’t experience a better feeling than being in those spotlights, watching the game from the best seat in the house with the team. I had it locked in as the day that could not be topped, but WAVY came along and changed that.
On Week 10 of my internship, I found myself standing in that very same stadium. The turf felt familiar under the soles of my boots and I replayed the eagerness from that 2014 night in my head.
Next to the Virginia Beach Sportsplex field is a hill. The lights are so bright that behind that hill appears to be a drop off of darkness.
I got lost in that abyss. The hum of Nathan’s voice brought me back into the reality of things. We were working.
“Huh?” I hadn’t heard what he said.
“We could’ve stayed in the van a bit longer. It’s freezing.”
Right. The game hadn’t even started yet. It was 30 degrees out, but at the time, I couldn’t tell.
It took time to process that I was actually standing on the same field again, but this time, I was shadowing a sports reporter. I was in the field(of work). This was not the first time I’d shadowed a high school football game. It was probably the third or fourth, regardless, none of them had this effect on me. The smile never left my face.
For the first time since my internship started, I felt like I was actually making progress with my life. That seems dramatic, but my goal is to grow. Because that one day in high school was such a vivid mile stone for me, I was able to differentiate my growth as a person.
This realization and closure is something I never would’ve gotten without WAVY. I’m thankful for every second, even the time spent holding the camera to the point of the cold painfully stinging my fingers and toes.
I shot a possession of the game, but no touchdowns were scored.
Nathan was across the field somewhere, discussing the game with someone while poorly attempting to warm his already frozen fingers. I was finding the perfect angle, catching the plays, and sharpening my focus. By the end of the game, I still never caught a good play before having to relinquish the camera back to Nathan.
The game was Oscar Smith vs. Ocean Lakes. The score: Oscar Smith 31, Ocean Lakes 6