March 3, 2006
Note: This column was written by Kyle Young, an All-American center who lettered in football from 1998-2001 and is now an administrative assistant:
Two weeks ago, I traveled to Gettysburg, PA, to attend the funeral of Barbara Streeter. She was a lady of extraordinary character, who became a part of the Clemson family over 10 years ago when she brought her son Brandon down here to school. She committed her life to her Christian values and her family, and she will be remembered as a lady whose tireless support behind the scenes had a profound impact on those she loved and all who came in contact with her.
I made this 17-hour roundtrip in the course of two days with a good buddy of mine, Will Merritt, and, as we drove… and drove… and drove, we reminisced about football for the Tigers. We couldn’t help but recall all of the broken bones that Brandon suffered because he was too slow to get out of the way of all the guys that Will and I were supposed to have blocked. Along with the images of Brandon always limping off the field, there were those images of Mrs. Streeter always being there for her son when he stepped out of the locker room. At the time, I probably took for granted the sacrifice that many of my teammates families had to make to attend every game. But, as I passed through Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and half of South Carolina on my way back to Clemson, I developed a greater appreciation for those not as blessed as I have been.
To be born and raised in the town `where the Blue Ridge yawns its greatness’ has been a blessing. I’ve always believed that, and now I believe it even more as I consider the sacrifices made by Barbara Streeter and many parents like her. Growing up, I would walk to sporting events on campus and soak up all of the excitement and energy that Clemson Athletics and its thousands of fans would generate on fall Saturday afternoons in Death Valley, winter nights in Littlejohn, or spring days at Tiger Field. I would dream, as most Tiger Cubs do, about kicking the game-winning field goal against Georgia, sinking a buzzer-beating shot against UNC, or hitting a walk-off homerun against the Gamecocks. When I finally got a chance to play for Clemson, I was once again blessed. This time it was a blessing of tremendous support from those thousands of fans that have always been there to cheer on the Tigers.
It took a trip to Gettysburg, PA, for me to put it all into perspective, but, like Barbara Streeter, there are thousands of Clemson supporters who travel great distances to support their Tigers. As a former player, coach, and current administrator, I sincerely appreciate the sacrifices that all Clemson fans make to support our athletic teams. It really does make a difference when you are in your seat cheering the Tigers on to victory. It really does make a difference when you offer cheers of encouragement when a Clemson athlete limps off the field. It really does make a difference to know, as an athlete, when you step off the field at Clemson University you’re part of much more than just a team: you’re part of a family.
I want to offer a sincere thanks to all of the orange-blooded members of the Clemson family for all that they have done and will do to support Clemson Athletics!
Go Tigers!Kyle Young
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