This past weekend my friend Skeets' son Zac came off the bench in the state class "C" championship game to give his team a little spark. With the Big Sandy Pioneers down 7, freshman Zac nailed 3 three-pointers, defended his opponents best player and got his team back in the game. They eventually won 51-49.
I've known Skeets for a while now. We started kindergarten together. Graduated from Malta together. I've been his best man twice, the last time 18 years ago. Though he lives 240 miles away we talk almost every day. Its one of the great benefits of the 21st century. His son Zac and I have always had a great relationship. When Skeets has been in town for golf tournaments or business, Zac and I have a great time playing cards or catching a movie or just hanging out. A great, great kid. When BG met Zac this summer, she was very impressed when he stuck out his hand, looked her in the eye and said "nice to meet you". His sister Brook did the same. They are bright, funny, well mannered. I don't get to see them enough.
Make no mistakes about this game Saturday. It was indeed a team effort. I told Zac after he didn't play Friday night to be ready. You never know when your number will be called. His dad kept him calm and told him the same thing. When the kid got his chance, he responded like a superstar.
After the game he came up to me and said "Thanks for watching me Chip". He said it so calmly, like he hadn't just been the hero in the biggest game of his young life. Like he had just finished a JV game. Its confidence and humility. I feel lucky that I know this kid. Have fun watching the video below. Zac is #24 in your program, #1 with the Big Sandy fan base Saturday night.
Sidenote for you non-Montanans: There are barely one million people in the entire state yet you could drop Oklahoma in the middle of Montana and never touch the sides. That's not to slight you Okies, its just to give you an idea how bid Montana is. Big Sandy has a total high school enrollment of 54. They play schools of similar enrollment and class "C" is our smallest designation. Its still cool to be the best, no matter what class.
I'm having trouble embedding the video so click here for the link to the Billings Gazette highlight. Its 1:23 long. Skeets asked me yesterday, "so, is this blogworthy?" I could hear him smiling on the phone. Yes, your goddam right it is.