Have you ever heard a coach say it's moments not scores that you remember later in life? The Central Purple Pounders had one of those moments last Friday. It's a heartwarming story about how an unselfish act made the night's final score all but irrelevant .
"(Coach) Braswell tells us all the time, the game is bigger than us," said Central linebacker Arion Price.
Last friday was just another example. Central loaded the team bus for a near three hour drive. for a second round 4A showdown at unbeaten Greeneville. A game they would lose, but a day they would win.
Central Head Coach Cortney Braswell said, "we already knew Friday, before we went to the stadium, before we put helmets and pads on, before the scoreboard even started, that we already won the day."
All because of a detour central head coach Cortney Braswell set up ahead of time.
Courtney's best friend, Red Bank assistant Charles Weems is from Greeneville, Charles' mother Toni Weems who loves Cortney still lives there.
Charles Weems said, "me and Cortney had a running joke, when we played, who was my mom really pulling for."
In this case all parties are pulling for Toni who was recently diagnosed with a very rare form of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
Braswell said, "it broke my heart, I don't remember the last time I cried like that."
Meanwhile, Toni's biggest concern was if Central kept winning, she'd be unable to watch Cortney coach Central against Greeneville.
Price said, "this lady might not live to see another football season, but she thought of us.
So the Central bus, bound for Greeneville was now loaded with 4 dozen roses, a signed jersey, Toni's home address and a few dozen young men who understand the game is bigger than them.
"Each one of our kids gave her a rose and gave her a hug," said Braswell.
Price added, "just going to see that lady who thought of us before herself even with all her trials, it just touched me."
Braswell said, "If you can exist in a way that you make someone else's day better just because you were a part of it, that's really what we're here for."
Charles Weems said, "it was just something that I'm grateful for and that I'll never forget. It provided joy for her in a time that's been a difficult time."
It was the perfect prelude to Central's biggest game in more than a decade and a reminder the final score is only half the story.
"Everyone certainly felt more victories than you normally do in defeat because we won in a lot of different ways that night," said Braswell.