This is an open letter to the friends, fans, families and even foes of the South Walton High School Football program, 2013.
We were privileged this season to watch a young team mature, a coaching staff refine and a fan base rapidly expand. It wasnʼt magic or miraculous, but instead a product of hard work, determination and above all faith. Phil Tisa took the reigns of a beleaguered program, halfway through the summer of 2012 and was abandoned by a few parents, not fully respected by a few others and questioned by a few more.
His mantra was simple, team.
He knew these young men, and they knew him. If they stuck by each other, trusted each other and worked, sweat, and even bled for each other they could achieve great things. That first year they endured 9 losses in a row and were finally victorious in the last game of the season. That took courage to fight to the bitter end.
Strength is not just in muscle, but also in their character to keep getting up, keep making plays and keep encouraging these young men to fight on, despite the score.
This season was no fluke, and this team played and beat some quality teams. There was never a waiver from the coaching staff from the youngest to the oldest, and they do span several generations, with nearly a century of experience.
We want to send a heartfelt thank you to Phil Tisa and his entire coaching staff. They are truly in it for the best interest of these young men. That is a rare quality among coaches these days and a cherished commodity to us parents and boosters alike. Their leadership has done great things for these players and built a strong foundation for the future of our Seahawk Nation!