That Friday night feeling
Psychological relief provided through an open expression of strong emotions. That’s the definition of the adjective cathartic. And that’s the prevailing emotion that you see when looking at the picture of junior J.T. McCaffrey hugging his Momma after Bogue Chitto beat McLaurin 23-20 Friday night.
Sophomore kicker Carson Price had just drilled a 31-yard game winning field goal at the final horn. In a close, physical game that they trailed in for most of the night, McCaffrey and his teammates reached out and took the win away from their opponents.
Emotions would have been high for everyone on the BC sideline and in the bleachers, even if the game had been a less exciting win.
It wasn’t a regular win though. It was a cleansing win for the whole team and community after the McCaffrey family lost their home in a fire on Aug. 15. The home wasn’t just a dwelling filled with memories and property owned by Tate and Marsha McCaffrey, it was a gathering place for many Bogue Chitto student-athletes. The oldest McCaffrey child — Jake — played football for the Bobcats before graduating last year. Macie is a junior high softball and basketball player and the baby of the family Maddi is in elementary school.
Remember in the Bible when Paul lays out his credentials in Philippians and says he is a “Hebrew of Hebrews?” Marsha and Tate McCaffrey are Bogue Chittians of Bogue Chitto. Marsha’s maiden name is Wallace and her daddy David owned the store and garage on Hwy. 51 that sits in front of the school for 40 years.
“I always knew from growing up here that there’s no place better to live than Bogue Chitto,” said Marsha. “Over the last week and a half though the outpouring of support from the people in the community has been the most humbling thing I’ve ever been a part of. People have been so kind to our family.”
On Friday Bogue Chitto players had “4TC” written on their headbands and wristbands — which was an abbreviation of “For the Crib.” The “Crib” being the McCaffrey’s home which was like a home away from home for so many of the boys on the team.
The McCafferys are generous people. Generous with their time and effort to help others. Tate is known for cooking jambalaya plates that have been sold for all sorts of local charities and causes. Marsha is among a group of worker bees that have planned and raised funds for the permanent monument that will honor the eight people killed in 2017 during the Memorial Day weekend.
The loss felt by the McCaffreys’ home fire was a loss felt by their family, friends and community. That’s why the comeback win on Friday night felt so good. Like a shot of medicine for Marsha and Tate. That’s why Marsha was hugging J.T. so tight she looked like she was going to pop his head off.
“For those few hours Friday night, it was more than a game,” said Marsha. “When I locked eyes with J.T. on the field after the game and to see his smile and hug his neck, it was overwhelming.”
In the win against McLaurin J.T. was 1-of-1 passing for 16 yards. He also carried the ball 15 times for 96 yards and one touchdown. He scored a 25-yard rushing TD that pulled BC within 12-6 at the half.
The McCaffreys are staying at the Hampton Inn right now. They’re thankful that no one was injured in the fire. They’ll rebuild and one day their new home will once again be filled with their children and friends.
Moments like Friday — when all the bad felt small compared to all the good, the feeling of winning a football game on a Friday night — that’s the good stuff that will get them to that day when they’re back in their home again.
Sports editor Cliff Furr can be reached at email@example.com.