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Author TOPIC: The Necco journey
Clayton Gray

October 10, 2014
10:49:10 AM

Entry #: 4148592
Most of you know I am not short on words and I’m not shy to share my thoughts at any time. So, as this is the eve of my sons last game ever at Raider Field, I am reminiscing about my years here with the Raiders. I want to say what a positive and fantastic experience the Raiders have been for my son, myself, and my entire family. If you’re a parent looking to get your son in football, this is the gold standard. If you’re a Raider parent who has a son that may not be the star of the team, don’t leave to find greener pastures. If you’re a Raider Parent get involved as much as you can with our organization. If you’re a Raider Parent who doesn’t have extra time to give be happy you’re a part of this, and enjoy the ride because your son and family are in good hands. Bottom line, if you’re a part of the Raider Program be very proud, and grateful that your son was talented enough to make one of the very best football teams and programs in the city.

I have met some of my best friends through the Raiders. I have brought some of my best friends to the Raiders. I have learned a lot about who I am as a person, and a father through my experiences here. My son has become a much better person, student, athlete, and football player from his time here with the Raiders. I believe in what #73 stands for, and I believe in the magic that happens within our family here at the Raiders. It isn’t always perfect, there have been tough times and issues to deal with. Anything great is never perfect, and getting through those times only make us grow stronger.

So, when I watch my son run that hill with his Raider teammates for the final time next week, I have one ask of all our Raider Families. Get out and tell others how great this place is. It is a fragile time at the Raiders, NSYFL, and football as a whole. 6 years ago we had 82 kids tryout for our 3rd/4th grade team, this year that number was 35. This organization, league, and sport is fantastic in so many ways, even beyond football. I know Nathan’s time is almost up here with the Raiders and it is going to be a tough thing for us to say goodbye and move on to his next step. The Raiders have been so special for the Gray family and I want to be able to come back and see generations to come have the same experience.

When you see your son grow from a 5 year old flag player- to an 8th grader playing in his final home game this place becomes a proud part of you. It went by a lot faster than I ever thought it could. I remember watching guys like Morgan Steward (who is now with the Missouri Tigers) in a Raider uniform, and it seemed so far away that my son would ever be one of the 8th graders. But here we are…

Now let’s finish this thing the right way! The Raider Way!

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