Sports breed a camaraderie that extends far beyond the game and builds traditions that stand the tests of time. While wins over losses, state championships and the chance to take their game to the college level is the dream of every high school athlete, sometimes it just makes sense to stop the game and pay tribute to people involved in a much more difficult fight.
The Jefferson Silver Foxes aren't the most powerhouse program to ever step onto a football field, but the El Paso, Texas football team is making a much greater impact for a few brief moments during every home game this season. What started during Jefferson's home game against the Irvin Rockets on September 28 has become one of high school football's coolest new traditions.
At the end of the first quarter of every home game, the Jefferson team, fans and coaches turn their attention to El Paso Children's Hospital where they wave to the patients inside, who return the wave with glow sticks and lights in an awesome show of support.
The act, being dubbed the Wave of Love, is catching on like wildfire around the Texas community.
Jefferson might have lost that game against Irvin 55-10, but the wave became a victory that the scoreboard could never duplicate.
"It's amazing. The kids feel like someone thought of them and they aren't forgotten," Megan Kamau, the Child Life coordinator at El Paso Children's Hospital told KVIA News. "We appreciate everyone cheering this relationship on. We would really like to see it grow and we appreciate Jefferson taking this on and thinking of us."
The newest tradition in El Paso is similar to the Hawkeye Wave, where the entire crowd watching the Iowa Hawkeyes football team play at Kinnick Stadium turns and waves to patients at the University of Iowa's Children Hospital during each home game.
It's the little things that remind us sports are so much more than a final score, and the bonds between Jefferson High School and the young patients battling at El Paso Children's Hospital will only grow stronger as this tradition gets the attention it deserves.
The Silver Wolves have some new fans, and you can guarantee that patients at EPCH have new fans in their corners, too.
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