Rebel Pride

By: Kevin McLane

Thank You Football.

June 3rd, 2013. That is the date my high school football journey officially began. At the time I was just an incoming freshmen who had no idea where this endeavor would take me. I remember walking up the big hill to Merrick Field at Seton LaSalle High School. I remember the field I used to play grade school games on looking unfamiliar now with so many new faces on it. I remember the line we formed to run our wind sprints. I remember an enthusiastic coach I didn’t know yell, “RUN DEVENNEY!” at someone I had yet to meet. Looking back now, it’s funny because that coach became our head coach and our leader and that kid running became one of the best friends I have ever made. I remember the weight room and those juniors and seniors that took me under their wing and showed me the ropes. I remember the feeling I had leaving that day, feeling that I was a part of something special, feeling like I belonged.

October 28th, 2016. This is the date my high school football journey came to an end. I had transformed from an incoming freshmen to a soon to be high school graduate. I remember the feeling of pain as our rivals from across the street put an end to our season. However, I remember more, the feeling of peace as we closed another chapter of my life. I was able to feel this way because although we didn’t even make it to playoffs, I had the same feelings I had on my first day of summer workouts freshmen year. I felt apart of something special and I felt like I belonged. That is what Seton LaSalle football has done for me. It made a kid feel like he belonged.

This is a letter thanking all those involved in the best four year span of my short life. My life would be the complete opposite of where it is now if it weren’t for those people that have helped me year in and year out. I know I was not always the least controversial or the easiest to work with, but I thank you sincerely for never giving up on me and my teammates.

Mom and Dad: I know all you hear is me complaining about you, but in a way I think that’s confirmation that you guys are great parents. I have made countless mistakes and you always let me know. However, you always know what is best for me and neither of you have ever led me down the wrong path. Even when I was at my worst, you guys were at your best. You have supported me in countless ways through 9 years of football. I can count on one hand the number of games you missed and that is truly touching. Mom, for all the rides, loads of laundry, and venting sessions I have put you through, I thank you. Dad, for being my coach, my fan and keeping me level headed, I thank you. I know it’s not always evident, but I truly appreciate all you have done for me and I love you both.

Cheerleaders: For four years you guys have traveled to and from games, in the heat, the rain, the snow, and the cold. Never have you guys given up on us and your continued support was always a bright spot after a loss. Thank you for the love. We truly appreciate all of you

Parents and Fans: Thank you for the cheers, the support, and the school and team pride you show week in and week out. The Seton LaSalle community is a family and you guys made every week a reunion. Thank you.

Band: You traveled just as much as we did and I don’t think I will ever get tired of hearing you guys play our fight song after a score. Thank you.

Mr. and Mrs. Weyrich: The amount you have done for this program and this school in the past four years is immeasurable. You have bettered the program in ways unknown to a lot of people, Thank you for all your hardwork and dedication to us. I love you guys and am so grateful you became a part of the community,

Billy O’Malley: We became friends your sophomore year and I will always be grateful for that. You’re one of my best friends and I am so thankful for all you’ve done for me. Especially the continued support from Duquesne. Thank you for always being down to eat and go golfing, and thank you for being better than Zach at Madden and actually giving me a game.

Zach Devenney: You were that kid Carter was telling to run my first day and seeing your work ethic made me realize what kind of a kid you were. We became friends your sophomore year on the football field and now you’re one of the best friends I’ve ever had. Thank you for listening all the times I was gonna quit junior year. Thank you for listening to my girl problems and thank you for always being there. You’re one of the best people I know and I’m lucky football made us close.

Nate Ault: Brow, thank you for always laughing and being arguably the funniest kid on the team. You have great potential, keep working and I’ll see you at whatever D1 school offers you.

Nick Vari: We’ve known each other for years. You have been stepping up big since freshmen year. Thank you for all the work you put in these past two years. You are the next best player out of Seton. Keep grinding, I’m excited to see how far you go.

Lionel Deanes: You’re the best running back in the WPIAL maybe the PIAA. Thank you for the endless work you put in and for making us linemans’ jobs so much easier. You’re fun to watch on Friday nights but I can’t wait to see you play on Saturdays.

Matt Banbury: You were the smartest QB I’ve ever played with. You worked harder than anyone and you were always there to make fun of McNally with me. Thank you for everything and go win some games next year.

Nick McNally: You’re one of my best friends and as much as I make fun of you, I love you brother. We really were some duo and I’m gonna miss lining up next to you every week. Keep being yourself and you’re gonna go far.

Josh Blamer: Stork, you probably read as many books by yourself as the whole rest of the team combined. You’re one of the nicest kids I know and it was a blessing playing with you for three years. I’m gonna miss you big man.

Nick Krugh: Well, I tried fighting you, and now you’re one of my brothers. When you first joined I wasn’t sure about you and I knew you didn’t like football. This year though that all changed. You stepped up big and the leadership and effort you showed at Apollo-Ridge was big. You’re of the best dudes around and I’m happy we’re done swinging at each other.

Brandon Siler: SI??, My man, it’s been an honor. You’re one of the funniest kids I know and I’ll always remember our memories on and off the field. Thank you for all you have done for me.

John Terry: We went from barely talking to you being one of my best friends. These past two seasons with you have been unreal and I’m so thankful you played. You were always making us laugh but you always put in work. Playing D-Line with you this year was a blast and I’m gonna miss you so much next year. Hope you play at the next level.

Darnell Smith: Uncle Durrell, whether you were dancing or playing guard on scout team you never failed to put smiles on everyone’s face. Thank you for this year.

Christian Weyrich: It’s been a long four years, no matter what was happening between us we always ended up friends. Thank you for being who you are and playing as hard as you did. I love you brother

Luke Blahut: We’ve been playing together, every year, since fourth grade. There is no one else I would’ve wanted to spend 9 long seasons with. You are a beast on and off the field and the only reason I’m happy we won’t be on the same team next year is because I know you’ll be going way bigger places than I will. I love you buddy. Thank you for everything.

Nolan Abbiatici: I’ve been playing with you since 7th grade when you came to play for St. Bernard. It wasn’t a coincidence that that was the year my team had our first .500 season yet. You’re one of the best people and players I have ever met. You attack everything silently and let your work do the talking. Although we’re in the same grade and we’re both captains, I’ve always looked up to you. You do things the right way and nothing has been able to hold you back. Looking forward to many more memories with you. Thank you for everything these past 6 years.

Coach Tony: Thank you for this year coach. You always showed me a lot of support and you were always there to fine tune my skills. Thank you.

Coach Duff: You’ve been around all four years I was on this team, but I am very appreciative that you came out of retirement for this year. You were one of the best coaches and I’m gonna miss playing for you.

Coach O’Brien: This year was a blast coach. While you obviously should have taken me at quarterback, (I think that was a no-brainer,) you were always there to help us or joke with us. I’m happy you were here this year and I’m excited to see you around D-block.

Coach Bron: Well coach, I’m not gonna even attempt to type your last name, but I’m happy you came on board this year. I always looked forward to our post practice talks and our handshake at random times of practice. Thank you for this year.

Coach Farrell: You were a big part of this year for me coach. You helped me a lot with my play this year but you also helped me as a person. Thank you for never letting me get too high or too low.

Coach Tirone: Coach, it has been a great three years. It’s no secret we almost never got along, but like I said in the summer; we hit our stride. I understand now that you accepted the role of disciplinarian. I saw this year how much you loved these kids and this team. You put in as much work as anyone else and I realized this year that you do not get enough credit. Thank you for all you have done.

Coach Kelly: This year has been one of my favorite years of football and you have been a big part of that. You came into this program with more knowledge of your position and the game overall than almost anyone I have ever been coached by. You were the best coach I have ever had. You always knew when to challenge us and when to build us up. You made us better every day from day one. You will be the next great coach in Seton history.

Coach Carter: Dear Coach, you have always been there for not only me, but all of us. In four years, we seniors have had 3 separate head coaches, a whole slew of assistants, and multiple new additions. No matter what happened, you were always there. You were so much more than a coach to most of us. I will forever be grateful for all you have done. You made me feel at home since day one and that will forever stay with me. I am sorry I could not do more for you as your first season as head coach, but I am grateful that you stayed with us these past four years. Rebel football has never been in better hands. Thank you coach. I love you and appreciate everything you have done for us.

Dear high school football, my journey with you ended as quickly as it began. You have been good to me and your lessons have reached far beyond the field. Although my high school football career ended on October 28th, 2016, I will not remember that day with sadness in my heart. Instead I will remember my teammates, my coaches, the fans, and everyone who made me feel involved. Playing football was the best decision of my life, and I am excited to see where I will go with it next.

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