Keeping football in perspective

Saturday, November 12, 2005

It may rain Saturday, but we know that any precipitation won't have a chance to settle on Weiland Field Saturday night when the McCook Bison host the Beatrice Orangemen in state Class B semifinal football game. Gates open at 2:30 and kickoff is at 4 p.m.

Before you go, why not take in the tailgate party in the upper shelter house at Kelley Park, across the street, beginning at 1 p.m.? The food will be great and all proceeds will go to the Senior Parents for their graduation projects.

It's a super important game, especially to the senior football players of both teams who have put in years of hard work for this game -- the chance to play for the state championship in Memorial Stadium.

But it may be a poignant time for Beatrice fans. Not long before today's players were dreaming about a high school football career, a schoolmate had dreams of his own.

Darren Howe was a kindergartner at Cedar Elementary School in Beatrice 15 years ago when his class drew pictures for servicemen who were in the Persian Gulf preparing to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.

A feature story, which you can read online at beatricedailysun.com,, describes a youngster who "always wanted to be on the side of good." His father remembers him playing Army on camping trips, and recalls his chest "swelling with pride and admiration" on hearing that his son wanted to try out for special forces.

Spc. Darren Howe died Nov. 3 from burns and smoke inhalation he suffered when a roadside bomb hit his Humvee in Iraq on Oct. 17. Services were held in Beatrice on Friday.

We know McCook and Beatrice players, coaches and fans will give it their all after Saturday's kickoff. But we know that win or lose, all of us will keep the game in perspective. There is no better way to honor a young man who gave his all for his country.

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