Guest Speech by Evan Dawson (or Devin Bawson?)

Generally, I keep this site restricted to stuff written by me, Kevin Lawson. However, when I heard this speech at the NCAA’s 2016 Final Four Soccer Banquet, I felt I had to make an exception. I’m not sure who wrote it for Tufts’ Zach Halliday, but apparently his/her name rhymes with Shmevin Shmawson, which is crazy, ’cause so does mine! Anyway, great job Evan Dawson or Devin Bawson or Levin Kawson! Transcript below.

Hi, everyone. My name is Zach Halliday. I’m a senior co-captain of the Tufts Men’s Soccer Team, and tonight I have the honor of speaking on behalf of my team.

Before I begin, I should disclaim that this speech was written not by me, but by one of more my capable teammates. Therefore, please direct all criticism at me while rerouting all praise to my amazing ghostwriter. He is modest enough to remain nameless, but it rhymes with Shmevin Shmawson.

I would have written it myself, but as captain, I’ve been really busy with captain things. For example, yesterday at practice, a cone got out of place and I had to fix it.

Soccer has been a constant in my life since the first moment I shot a ball and watched it drift slowly over the crossbar. For me, as for many of you, it has been more than just a part of my daily routine, but a piece of my identity. My whole life I’ve been wearing a jersey, but either tomorrow or Saturday, that jersey will come off for good.

From this position, I recognize that what once looked like an infinite career ahead of me actually consists of a shockingly small number of games, practices, and, in my case, goals. I urge those here, especially those younger, to never count with too much confidence on the next moment to come. To the top seed and the last bid alike, nothing is guaranteed, on or off the field. As our former assistant coach said to us in 2013, “you get 14 games and then you go work at a 9-to-5.” On the one hand, this is sad, as it points out how fleeting time can be. On the other hand, it implies that my teammate/brother, Kevin Halliday, is actually employable, so that’s good.

Having done my sentimental spiel, I want now to express how thankful the Tufts team is to be here today. To the NCAA, who year after year puts on these massive productions, thank you, and to Coach Nick Saban and Alabama football, who fundraise for d3 athletics so devotedly, thank you as well. And no amount of thank yous can accurately sum up how we feel towards our amazing and inspirational coaches….Also, Mark. Each of you has provided us with a template of what we can hope to be when we move on.

Thank you to John Morris, our Athletic Director, for your support and for being here with us this weekend. Thank you to Big Mike, our athletic trainer, for quite literally holding us together. And most of all, thank you to our parents, who have supported us through thick and thin. Especially my parents, who support Kevin, who is thick, and me, who is thin.

Lastly, a big thank you to Roanoke College and all of Salem, Virginia for graciously hosting us this weekend.

Congratulations to all of the teams here on your achievements thus far, and best of luck going forward. Thank you for your time, and Roll Tide.

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