Words cannot describe the conflict I feel when I view this photo.
It is the uniform of my grandson, which bears the logo of the Boyd County team in the Tri State Youth Football League.
When my boys were in school in the Ashland Public School District, the arch rival was Boyd County. Whether it was basketball, football, or baseball, the object was to defeat the county! Now, one of my own grandsons wears the uniform of the previously hated Lions. Who'd a thunk it?
Our younger son, Benji, and his family live in Cannonsburg. And even though their son, Will, goes to school in Ashland, now that he is playing youth sports, he is playing in the district where he lives - Boyd County...
Benji has taught school in Russell, KY and Ashland over the past four years, and Will has attended both districts. I think Benji and Leigh Anne have decided to keep will in Charles Russell Elementary School in Ashland - even though he lives out in the county. This is where Leigh Anne attended elementary school, and where Will's other grandmother, Linda Clanton, taught for about 30 years. It's a good school and he likes it there. I don't know where he will end up in High School (after all, he's only in the third grade now) but for now, it looks as though he will be playing youth Baseball and Football in his home district.
I have been an Ashland Tomcat fan for three decades. I volunteered in the Ashland schools. I served a four year term on the Ashland Board of Education, and was a director of the Tomcat Booster Club. Even though I am not a native of Ashland, it is my adopted home, and where my boys grew up. I expect that I will be a Tomcat fan for life. That is what makes this photo of Will's helmet and uniform seem so foreign to me.
Unaccustomed as I am to root for any football team wearing Boyd County's red and white colors, I will be there on the sidelines tomorrow morning cheering on the County boys as they travel to Milton, West Virginia for their first game of the 2009 Tri State Youth Football League season. It looks as though William will be lining up at fullback and defensive end for the Red and White. So, as a dutiful and proud grandfather, you know who this Ashland Tomcat fan will be pulling for...
(Gosh, that still sounds strange!) :-)