Football and The Rosary
by Dave Tyrrell
During the summer of "99" my son Chris and I made trips to several football kicking camps, something we had been planning for and dreaming about for years.
For the previoustwo yearshe had been the kicker forhis High School's football team. Prior to his Junior season,through the encouragement of his confirmation sponsor, he dedicated his athletic abilities to Christ through the special intercession of St. Joan of Ark. Then during his Junior year he pulled a groin muscle. Itruined his season and almost his career.
After such setbacks, it was extremely important that he have a great summer at the camps so colleges would see his potential and take interest.
We started the camp circuit at theUniversity of Iowa. He had a terrible camp.
A couple of weeks later we headed out to Notre Dame. There it all came together for him. He ended that camp on Father's Day, winning the long distance punt with a huge punt that carried 65 yards from scrimmage. What a Father's Day present!
Next was the University ofMichigan where he did well but did not win.
Finally, there was the Kansas University camp. There with both his mother and I watching he won the long distance field goal competition with a 62 yard field goal. The K.U. coaches said that they would be in touch. We were excited. Now all we needed was a great season with his high school team.
We were all hoping and praying for a great season that would end with a college scholarship offer.My wife, Chrisand Istarted the practice of praying the rosary every night. This continued through the entire season.
The season opener was on Chris's 18th birthday. They played against a team with whom the school had a 63 year old rivalry.He started out the season with the season opening kick off that went so far off the end of the field that it landed back on the high jump tarmac. We won the game.
During the football season Chris broke several of the school kicking records. He received recruiting calls from several Division 1A schools, was invited out to games at several colleges, butreceived no scholarship offers.
His school made the playoffs and the State Quarter-final was in 2 days. That night we gathered together and started our usual rosary. Just as I announced the mystery of the Birth of Christ, the phone rang. It was one of the K.U. coaches. They called to offerChris a full ride football scholarship.
For the 2001 season Chris played as a Red Shirt Freshman. Hekicked off for K.U. in 3 games this season and punted in 7. His grandmother and father, who are his biggest fans went to 2 games and watched him on T.V. in 3 more.
His career came together at Notre Dame and took off during our praying of the rosary. Just you try to tell me that there is not a connection.
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