This “Last” Will Be Special


With this being Chris’ senior year, there are going to be a lot of “lasts” that he will be experiencing. There was the last “first day of high school”, his last Homecoming dance, his last “first practice of the season.” And there will be many more as this year goes flying by. Tonight though…this one is gonna be tough. Tonight will be his last regular season football game, it’ll be Senior Night for the Beechwood Tigers and this will be the last time that I will know that when he takes the field, it won’t be my last time watching him play. Playoffs start next week and, as a parent, you know going in that it could be their last game. There is no safety net. If they lose….they’re done. Which is why tonight is so special. And that will be the last time I get to see him run onto the field, put on his helmet and play ball with the 12 other guys that we’ve had the pleasure to watch grow into fantastic young men while having a sense that I WILL get to see him play at least one more time.


10+ years ago, on August 27th, 2009, his mother and I watched as he took the field with his Spartan teammates at Robert A. Warner Field. Little did we know the culture we would become a part of, the friends we would make and the elation of winning or the deflation of losing that having a son who played football would bring. It sure has been an exciting ride! From winning a couple local youth football championships to winning 3 state championships, every year has brought something new to store away in the memory bank. It has been a pleasure to watch and it is going to be incredibly hard to not have this anymore.


So many memories. I don’t even know where to begin really so I won’t. Writing this has me tearing up and I don’t want to spend one more moment of this day being sad. This is a celebration. My parents are coming into town to be here for Senior Night. It’s going to be a cold evening. I plan on having some hot chocolate, I want to sit with our friends and I want to enjoy this for what it is…an exciting moment in my son’s young history. It will be the first time I get to experience seeing what this game has meant to him. Our family will walk across midfield with him before the game and the fans and parents and friends will clap and wish us well. It will be something I haven’t experienced since MY senior night with my basketball team so many years ago. And then they will face off against a tough opponent whose quarterback is the son of a friend of mine. That one will be tough to watch because I’ve watched Chris and his friends take on Paul and his teammates for years now and his Dad and I always have great discussions about their performances. It’s a great rivalry and knowing that this is the last regular season game will make it all the more sweeter if we can pull out a victory.


It’s been a awesome 10-year ride and I’ve got photos and video to prove it. Maybe some day I’ll go back through and re-watch and re-live all of this but for now? I just want to enjoy tonight and be there for Christopher. I don’t know if he realizes what is happening or even thought about it on this level but I know I have been. For weeks now. And I’m so proud of him and his team for what they’ve accomplished. It was a rough start for sure, going 1-4 after winning a state championship is a lot of pressure. But they have come roaring back, winning 4 in a row and now sit with a 5-4 record and the chance to win against a tough team tonight. It’s exciting and it’s made for a great season!

Anyway…I’m waxing nostalgic and just wanted to get this down before I move on with my day. Tonight is going to be special and I don’t want to miss a second of it. So….





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2 Responses to This “Last” Will Be Special

  1. Kenneth Budd says:

    Alan Layton – Congrats on your travels (and documentation of) with your son Christopher and family, as he winds down his Senior year!!! Good news y’all, you and your wife, won’t be empty nesters for a few years yet, so enjoy his college years and the daughter’s high school years to come!!! It is so great to see “students” from my thirty years in education (coming up on 18yrs retired the end of Dec.) doing so well at the real world – “parenting” in particular!!! Again congrats Alan & Family!!!

    Ken Budd (Principal and Asst. Principal at Philo H.S. 1985-1998)

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