Michele Thomas

At our weekly staff meeting, I used the term andquot;two-minute warning.andquot; One of my managers was surprised that I knew anything about football.

andquot;Of course I know about football,andquot; I answered. andquot;And soccer and tennis and basketball and track ... I'm a mom!andquot;

My twins started bowling in a kid's league when they were 5, swung tennis rackets at 7 and kicked soccer balls through grade school. My youngest son played tennis, soccer and basketball at an early age, and all three played football at some time in their youth.

In high school, Collin was a quarterback and Matt was goalie for his soccer team his first 3 years then switched to football as a senior. Dana ran track and won ribbons in the 800 meter and 4x100 boys' relay. Dana also played trumpet in the marching band. He continued with marching band at the UofO, and traveled with Joey Harrington when the Ducks played in the Fiesta Bowl and the Holiday Bowl.

My favorite sport was always whatever my boys were playing at the time, and I've kept up on sports because of them. Currently, Collin coaches football for Illinois Valley and all three sons engage passionately in fantasy football leagues. I read the sports pages partly because my sons expect me to know what they're talking about when it comes to sports.

I share this with you to give you a glimpse into the life of a sports mom. How many Saturdays are spent on a playing field? At a park? In a gym? How many practices to drive to and from? How many sports buses to meet in the middle of the night, or bottles of Gatorade to buy?

This past week, Triplicate photographers Bryant Anderson and Rick Postal, inspired by our sports editor, Bill Choy, logged long hours for several days to ensure the 2007 season's local high school athletes got what Andy Warhol would call their andquot;15 minutes of fame.andquot;

In my home, newspaper clippings of Collin winning a junior tennis championship, the front page photo of Matt, high in the air blocking a goal, and the worn picture of Dana's beaming face when his marching band won a state competition are family treasures. The boys, now men, have kept those newspaper clippings all these years.

The special section we published Friday honoring this season's local athletes was produced for the athletesand also for the moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas to cut out, paste in scrapbooks, preserve in frames and hang on refrigerators. Behind each smiling face, we recognize the hours of practice in heat and in rain, the car pools, the muddy socks, the bruises, the tears and the triumphs.

Parents of Warrior athletes: Cherish the faces in the photos pinned to your bulletin boards and hanging on your refrigerator doors. More memories will be made this season, and we at The Daily Triplicate plan to be there to capture those moments. We wish the athletes and those close to them a rewarding season. Go Warriors!

Reach Michele Thomas, The Daily Triplicate's publisher, at, 464-2141, or stop by 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.