As I drove home from my annual college football signing day party, I could not get something a player said out of my head.
That player was Evans offensive lineman Michael Heredia. He signed a scholarship with Gardner-Webb earlier in the day and was one of the 27 players who attended the evening's festivities at Wild Wing Cafe.
I was interviewing Heredia when he mentioned how special it was to be sharing his day with guys such as Jonathan Nicely and Mykel Green. You see, those guys have been playing together since they were roaming the halls at Evans Middle School. They all entered Evans High together with big dreams of athletic glory.
This group was finally getting to bask in the glow that four years of blood, sweat and tears can bring. I thought about conversations they probably had as eighth- or ninth-graders. I could envision them talking about how they would lead Evans to countless wins and one day they would be playing college ball.
Haven't we all had those dreams, those talks with our old teammates? For this group, those dreams came true. Heredia, Nicely, Green, and company helped lead Evans to nine wins and one of the most successful and thrilling seasons in school history.
Now, they will be heading off soon to represent Evans High and Columbia County at college.
I thought about a time, years from now, when they get together for a high school reunion or a cookout at someone's house. Boy, those talks are going to be fun. They will undoubtedly discuss how special it was to share the incredible 2007 season and the 2008 Signing Day.
All eighth-grade athletes dream of one day playing at the college level. Very few get that chance, and it is even more rare for an entire group of friends to get to share such a special time.
I am glad I got a chance to see them Wednesday night. It gave me an even bigger appreciation for what a big day Signing Day is for the select few who receive scholarships.
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