On the day following the funeral, our family was once again back at Central Cabarrus Stadium to attend a memorial soccer game in memory of Michael J and Andy. It is one of the highest honors a team can give an athlete. At this game, for the first time I took my place on the sidelines with his mates, wearing his #6 jersey he had proudly earned, and represented him and Andy as the “missing man”on the team. Prayers and emotion fueled the game, and his Vikings passionately fought their way to victory in OT. Angels were smiling on their sorrowed friends and family.
Bonnie and I stayed abreast to the Viking Family the rest of the season, black arm bands and heart followed us all the way. Amid all the muse, everyone knew they were with us all. The following summer of 2006, friends on his AYSO All-stars prepared to go to the National Games in Chicago without their friend. Coach Dad and Bonnie were there to go with them, his name on their sleeve, and bands with the #6, on a trip he would never have wanted the boys to go alone on. We were there for each other, and their fellowship and sportsmanship testified to a legacy that would not end.
Now, as each generation passes, students still play for a Michael J, and Andy, they may have never met. But, they feel they know him and his parents as their own. During those magic moments and times that we commune on the fields all over the U. S. The Angel Boy’s live and flourish, not only as a tribute to these fine young men, but as a commitment to a future, that can bring peace and love to the world, and make friends and families of us all. These are beautiful things to have, and be thankful for. A team can be an awesome thing. Michael J and Andy are very proud.