by Kourt Williams
As the team and I are ready and set for the trip, eager to start this once in a lifetime experience, first we had to go through the challenge of getting there. I had to wake up at three o’clock in the morning to be able to get to Bosco by four. By the time I got to the school, the majority of the team was already there ready to go. As we drive in the dark on our way to the airport, even though this time of morning is usually peace and quiet, my teammates and I were wide awake, almost as if we were on our way to a party. You could just feel the excitement in the air.
As we arrive at the airport, after talking to my teammates about the trip, this is the first time some of them have ever been at an airport, let alone an airplane. Just the fact, young men in high school get to travel to an island and experience something only a few ever get to do, in all just to play a football game, is something I will never forget, always cherish, and never take for granted.
We land in Hawaii, and the excitement just rises. We load off the plane, get our bags, and head for the bus to go to our hotel. As a senior on the team, traveling is not really a new thing for me, but for some of the younger players that have never experienced it, they were just in awe about every little thing, and that was great to see them be able to experience that. As we are on the road headed to the hotel, the scenery is phenomenal. Looking at the beauty in the tropical mountains and the light to dark blue sea ahead just gave me this feeling of joy that made me realize the reality of the opportunities I’ve been given and I began looking forward to what lies ahead.
As the day starts, my body is trying to get used to the time difference. Being three hours behind in terms of my body clock was something we all weren’t used to. That I would say was one of the most difficult tasks to overcome. This is the day that we all would be able to see history before our eyes. We would be at the same location as what happened in Hawaii territory on December 7, 1941. But first, as you would imagine, we had to practice. Everything about the trip was like we all were in paradise. Even the location where we practiced, we were on a grass field on a hill on the edge of the ocean. The view of the ocean was beautiful.
After practice, we head to Pearl Harbor. This I would say was the most profound moment of the trip. For myself and my teammates to be able to experience that together and learn an in-depth analysis of what really happened that day was an experience I would never forget. It really made us appreciate and be thankful for all we have today and what is provided for us because it made us realize in a blink of an eye it all could be over and gone.
This is day everybody has been waiting for and anticipating. It’s game day! Social media is going crazy, people from the outer states start rolling in, my family included. The night before it was hard for me to sleep because I was so excited about the game. As the day continues and we all start preparing for kickoff, the focus is on one thing and one thing only, to win a football game.
At six o’clock in the evening, it was time to go. As the game begins it seems pretty even in matchups of teams. But my defense and I were too much for their offense to handle. My offense started racking up points and it was beginning to become obvious who was the dominant force of the game. As the game concludes and both teams knew what the eventual outcome would become, things start to get a little riled up for the opposing team. We stayed dominant and made sure to keep all action on the field.
As the game ends and we head back to the hotel, I can sense there is a little disappointment from my team because the trip had to end, but nonetheless, we knew it had to end sometime. We were just thankful we got the job done and accomplished the main purpose of why we went on this trip in the first place, and that was to win a football game.
Similar to day one of the trip, we had to wake up at three o’clock in the morning to head to the airport to make it home. Some of the best moments with my teammates are the aftermath of the trip because we actually get to talk about what we had just experienced. In it all, it just made the team’s bond closer. Taking a trip like that does nothing but make you a closer football team. It also allows you to become more than just teammates. It allows you to become brothers.
As we head to the airport and board our flight, as a whole, the team is ready to get back home and back to their normal lives, including me. When we land, there is a comfort that I felt knowing that I was back home. Knowing you have a home to go back to is one of the best feelings you can have. But knowing you have a second home with your team and brothers is an even better one, and I believe that became apparent because of this trip.
This adventure myself and Bosco football experienced was one I will never forget. It will be a story I will one day tell my children about. Something I will hold precious to my heart and cherish until the end of time.