Catamount freshmen to take first strides

Tomorrow, the Western Carolina football team plays their first home game.  The team is looking to get on track after dropping the first two games to open the season.  And one thing is a given.

The Catamount faithful will be out in full force.

But something else is happening tomorrow.  It’s more or less a tradition that Chancellor David Belcher initiated when he took the university helm during my freshman year of 2011.  The new class will get to run out of the tunnel at E.J. Whitmire Stadium and leave a footprint on Bob Waters Field.

This footprint will never fade.  It is permanent, concrete.

But there is a valuable lesson for the Class of 2017 to remember in all this.  Tomorrow you will run on the field for your first college football game.  Then, when you think about that time, it will be years down the road.

Time doesn’t stop for anyone and it won’t change now.

I look back on my first football game when I got to have the same experience.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  But it wasn’t yesterday.  It was two years ago.

Where has the time gone?  People say this all the time and I’m no different.  Growing up isn’t something we want to do, but that is our reality.

I have missed opportunities in my life.  I haven’t been seeing the big picture, only fragments.  Tomorrow, the freshman class won’t be thinking about these things.

I didn’t think I would either.  I charge the Class of 2017 to be a part of Catamount nation tomorrow and run across that field with angst and excitement.

But after that, be mindful of time.

The footprint you leave on the field will stay eternal.  Just take it from a junior who started his first football game in the same position.

When you finally look back at where you started, you will almost be at the end.