Thursday, October 30, 2008

THURSDAY'S HERO

Tonight I will make the post for Ammon. He is exhausted and was asleep by 8:30 tonight. It was an exciting day for him and for his family.
Today, Oct. 30, 2008, Ammon was honored by the BYU football team as their Thursday Hero. His family and a few friends were invited to come along. It was our honor to be there and we all had a wonderful time! Ammon said it was the greatest day of his life as he rolled off the football practice field at the end of the event. (He says that quite often.)

Here he is sitting in front of a large wall mural in the football office. It looks like he is watching the game from the press box. Cool!!


We met at the football office reception area and got to watch the team practice from the second story balcony. When everyone was there, the tour of the facility began.

Coach Bronco Mendenhall watching the action.



Coach Mendenhall's office. He likes to surf, hence the surfboard.


At the beginning of the year, each player was given a chisel with a mission written on it. Before each game some players are selected to chisel out a piece of the rock. It's a big 1,000 lb piece of granite. I didn't get a photo of the top of the rock, but a large block "Y" is being chiseled out and it looks really neat.
We got to watch the 2007 football highlights film that is inspiring and so much fun! That was in the same room where the granite boulder is stationed.


There is a large world map on one of the walls showing where all the football players are currently serving their missions. I believe there are over 100 serving right now. It was impressive. Kaitlin is looking this over.

This is the locker room - it was rather messy but it was also very large.



Several of the players are taking a flower arranging class. One of the women (travel agent) that nominated Ammon told me that they bring the arrangements in to them to enjoy. Vic So'Oto is one of those taking the class. I thought Chelsey would enjoy this. Here is one of the arrangments waiting to be taken home.



This is the wall of photos showing "Master Scholars" meaning these guys have GPA's above 3.0.

This was on one of the walls. Notice that they thought Ammon was from Provo. Not!


Here's Devin's version of the Haka! He looks scary.




Ammon and Devin watching the practice just before going out on the field.

Ammon following Cort out on to the field to meet the team.


Ammon waiting with Cort while the team was finishing up some business.


The man with the camera was the one that recorded and filmed the event.



One of the players making a presentation to Ammon. Jen will probably have to fill us in as to whom these players were.


Here is Ammon signing the white flag the that the team carries out on the field every game. They also gave him his own signed flag!



Here he is being presented with a coin that each player was given at the beginning of the season. They must carry it with them at all times and in all places to remind them of who they are and what they stand for. Ammon is now a part of the "Band of Brothers" and must carry this coin with him all the time.


Austin Collie and Max Hall talking to Ammon.


Max Hall & Coach Mendenhall visiting with Ammon. These are two very nice guys.


Here is the signed flag that Ammon now has.
After the little presentation, the team broke ranks and all of them lined up to shake our hands. We got to meet all of them and even had some time to visit with the coaches. I told Coach Mendenhall about Ammon's fettish about boys ruling and girls drooling and my thoughts after the Women's football clinic that the girls were definitely drooling and the guys were ruling. He thought that was very funny and agreed with me.
Besides the coin and flag, Ammon got a football Jersey (which they called the Fui jersey, #1), some bracelets, two other shirts and three BYU hats. He got his own Media Guide which he loves and some Y stickers to go on his wheelchair and on the car.
Coach Mendenhall told him that as long as he, the coach, was at BYU Ammon had an open invitation to attend any practice he wanted to so we will probably go again in the future since we don't get to go to the games.
All the kids that live in Utah were there supporting Ammon plus a few friends.
We had a great time watching and meeting the team. It was an honor for us and it was touching to hear the team thank Ammon for being the kind of example he is to others and for being their hero. What a great day!!

8 comments:

Jess and Jen said...

It was pretty awesome, Mom. We loved it and really enjoyed seeing how the team reacts to the "Heroes" they honor each week. These big rough strong guys really do calm down briefly and change perspectives for a moment. It was fun to watch. It was also fun to talk to Max Hall, Brandon Doman, and Coach Mendenhall. -Jess

Jeni said...

I'm in absolute AWE and it brought chills reading about the event. Such a wonderful, uplifting, inspiring moment! I'm glad I got to "share" a little bit of it with you through this post. Loved all of the pictures. And how cool is that...a signed flag!!! Congrats Ammon!!

Jess and Jen said...

The players presenting Ammon the stuff were Scott Johnson (bag of stuff), Andrew Rich (flag), and Brandon Bradley (coin). It was certainly a fun afternoon. Now there are a lot more people who know just how great you are Ammon! --Jen

Jason said...

Incredible. This post has done more to win me over to BYU than any football game they have ever played.

Papa Doc and the Duke said...

Jason,
Do you want one of their hats? They gave us some. Dad wanted to send you one but I didn't think you would wear it.
You have to understand the difficulty to get great, young athletes that will stay clean and abide by an honor code that some have never known. Some of their "mammas" send them here because they want their baby boys to behave. There are somewhere between 80-100 that are currently serving missions and so the coaches have to work around that issue as well and they encourage them to go on missions. There is a wonderful camraderie amongst the group that you instantly feel when you are around them. If they win, great - but I think they will win in life all the way around despite the game scores when they come here.
Go Cougs!!

Jason said...

Immediately after reading this post, I emailed Bronco Mendenhall and thanked him. He actually emailed me back and said, "One of the highlights of my life is seeing these kids happy." I think you guys have a good coach. Hopefully he will stay around for a long time.

Papa Doc and the Duke said...

Are you kidding? How did you get his e-mail address?

Lokodi said...

Ammon, what a cool experience!!! I'm so jelous that everyone was able to go. I'm so happy for you buddy. That was totally awesome just reading about it.

Lindsey