Seeing program through son’s eyes

Published 3:14 pm Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This past Friday, I was running around getting ready to cover the second round of the playoffs, when an e-mail popped up.

“I thought you guys would get a kick out of this story wrote by my 12-year old,” the e-mail read from Calera head coach Mac Thompson.

Kolby Thompson was in school, probably counting down the hours until the final bell, and waiting to be on the sidelines with his dad at Ricky M. Cairns Stadium.

After all, that’s what the story was about.

“The loud fans, the green grassy field, the smell of the concession stand. Everything comes to a natural balance here,” Kolby wrote of the field he has worked as a ball boy while his dad coaches the Eagles.

It’s at the concession stand, where Kolby likes to get a cup of hot chocolate from time-to-time, that I first met him last season. He clearly loves his dad’s program and as his essay shows, the field.

“It’s where my crazy dad’s Eagles have went 17-3 in three years … It’s where good meets bad. Calera is a powerhouse.”

After a 7-6 season this year, it may be hard to think that Calera is a powerhouse, but Kolby is on to something. When the Eagles are at home, look out!

The Eagles were 4-1 at Cairns during Thompson’s first season, 7-1 last season and 4-2 this year after Friday’s loss to Handley. Calera’s four losses in three seasons at home are the fewest in the county.

“Nobody thinks they are going to come in here and get an easy win. That’s like eating gravy with turnip greens, you just don’t do it,” Kolby wrote.

For Kolby it’s not just the concessions, but watching the team cut up as they spray paint the eagle at midfield and each other Thursdays before a home game.

“But of course the best thing about the game is just being out there. The lights shining brightly down on you, the fans screaming and yelling for the team, how my dad gets that big grin on his face when the team does something right. That is why this is such a great place.”