Griffin Letter

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 12, 2008

To the editor:

I wrote this Saturday morning on a South Panola High School bus while traveling to Tupelo with my bowling team. I was wearing my newest South Panola Tigers sweatshirt with my head held high.

Last night, as I watched the seconds tick off the clock and felt the hot tears stream down my face, I experienced a feeling I had not felt in quite a long time.

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“It’s over,” I whispered to myself.

A few hours later when I lay in my bed, I replayed the day’s events in my mind. I recalled our boys dressed in their suits, standing tall and ready. I could hear their voices, see their smiles and feel their confidence as they loaded the buses once again to travel to Jackson. I replayed every quarter of the game — the tackles, the runs, the passes, and the shouts. I tried hard to shut off the pictures, but the years of football kept flickering across my thoughts and the sweet, sweet memories played on and on.

I remembered the 2001 State Championship game and all of the games that followed. How we were all delighted when we were able to travel to Jackson again and again. “It can not last,” people would claim, but it just kept going. As spectators, we all stood a little taller and a littler prouder each time someone mentioned our Mighty Tigers.

The journey was a tough one. A journey paved with sweat, tears, and week after week of back-breaking work. Their bodies were bruised and broken and beaten, yet every week our boys took the field and they won — until none of us ever even thought of losing.

So what happens now? We go back to work just like we always do and get ready to play football next fall. But before we continue, I think it is oh-so-fitting that we thank this incredible team for letting us tag along on their journey. They have transformed from little boys into gentlemen while giving each of us a glimpse of what it means to be true champions.

Thank you guys for an awesome six years. Thank you for filling our hearts with such pride. Thank you for the smiles and laughter and more state championship t-shirts than we know what to do with. Yes, the streak has ended — but our love, respect, and hearts are forever yours.

It is my sincere hope that the fans of this town will reach deep into your treasure chest of memories and realize that all of these victories did not come without a price. Our sweet boys fought again and again as we watched, and now they leave with us a piece of their hearts.

I love you guys and am so very proud to be a South Panola Tiger.

/s/Angela Joiner Griffin