This letter is a tradition, started in 2004 and carried on with every State Championship Team since then. Before you head out on this last trip of the season, we want you to know that your Army of Buckeyes are behind you! You are the best of us. You are our sons, our brothers and our PRIDE. No matter what happens Friday, just know that we could not be more proud of you!
We have watched you use your motto to climb your mountain this season. AWTHEED! All Ready. It is something you have lived week by week, day by day, practice by practice, and rep by rep. Your willingness to trust it has gotten you through one of the toughest schedules in 4A football, a D1 “BIG SCHOOL” who is also playing this weekend for a State Championship, Pleasant Grove and a District Title… and now to where only 7 teams in 107 years of football in Gilmer have ever been, playing for a State Championship! WOW! What a journey. What an accomplishment!
You have learned to trust the process that got you here. To trust your coaches, the people around you who truly care about you, and most importantly to trust in each other. You have seen what can happen when each one of you is willing to be selfless, and to SHOW UP and DO YOUR JOB every rep, every play, every day! So when you walk into AT&T Stadium Friday morning, TRUST that what got you here is all you need to walk out as champions!
You know your opponent well. Carthage is Carthage. They are our “Lion” to hunt… and our Goliath to slay. You will find that this will not be the last time in life when you have to find a way to be your best when it counts the most. But remember, when David stepped out to face Goliath, he trusted in what God had done to make him ALL READY for the task. God gave him lions and bears to face that were trying to steal his sheep… and David dealt with them and grew from the experience. Those tests helped him develop his skills with his sling and staff, as he spent countless hours in the field practicing... rep after rep. Sound familiar? Check the names on your Black Flag. Right there are the names of the “Tests” God has given you to make you ALL READY for THIS! Eagles, Lions, Hawks, Bears… seen them all, beat them all. Tests taken; Tests passed. You are ready. ALL READY.
David also left behind all the things that a “normal warrior” would never be without. He took no armor. He took no sword or shield. He also left his emotions behind, he left all of his fear, his anxiety, and any thoughts that would distract him from his task. He only carried into battle what he knew he really needed; TRUST in God’s preparation, a sling, a staff, and five, smooth stones. Now ask yourself; why 5?
Was David planning to miss a lot? Do you think he was nervous facing a man 5 times his size, laughing at him and screaming about ripping him apart? I BET HE WAS! But in that moment, David’s TRUST in what got him there was bigger than any other emotions he was feeling. Goliath’s armor, weapons, smack talk and “undefeated swagger” didn’t measure up to David’s TRUST that he was ALL READY. He put his emotions aside, ignored where he was or who was watching, loaded his sling, locked in and TOOK HIS SHOT!
And all God needed was ONE STONE to change EVERYTHING!
So believe us when we say, GOD has prepared you for this moment in your life! You are bringing an ARMY to this fight and we are right behind you! LET US CARRY YOUR EMOTIONS, so you can be free to FILL THIS GAME WITH INTENSITY! All you have to do is FOCUS YOUR SKILLS and BE THE STONE!
Then we’ll see how big “Goliath’s” really is… big enough to fit on our Black Flag? Then we’ll see how good “Goliath” really is… good enough to BEAT OUR BEST? And we’ll see if “Goliath” can handle a storm of 60 stones for 48 minutes of ALL READY!
Your ARMY of Buckeyes