To better understand how life can be unfair – even when prepared for otherwise – Lincoln High football coach Jon Kitna spoke of a Bible passage than he shared with his son, Jordan.
It comes from the book of Proverbs.
“To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue.”
Jordan Kitna, a ninth grader for the Abes who prepared all spring and summer to be the starting quarterback for the varsity, will not get that chance this season.
Last Thursday, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association announced its decision to uphold the West Central District eligibility committee’s Aug. 22 ruling that Kitna not be granted a transfer waiver to play varsity athletics at Lincoln for 2012-13.
Instead this season, the teenager will have to play for the junior varsity or ninth-grade team in any sport.
“He (Jordan) has handled it well because he likes this freshman class that he is with, and they get to stay together … but it has been hard on him,” Jon Kitna said after practice Wednesday. “He was over here with me every single day from February through May working out, making the sacrifice to come over here.”
All summer, Jordan Kitna worked with the first-string offense at quarterback. He was in that role, too, just days leading up to the team’s season-opening game against Bonney Lake on Sept. 1.
After the WCD committee’s ruling, Kitna was ruled ineligible for varsity, and J’Maka Love – who had been playing receiver all summer – was installed as the new quarterback.
Love has helped the Abes to a 3-0 start.
The Kitnas appealed the WCD’s decision, and met with the WIAA on Sept. 6. A week later, WIAA officials contacted Lincoln athletic director Mike Merrill with their decision.
Needless to say, the setting was a bit surreal at the end of practice Wednesday. As the varsity offense was going through its final few plays of scout-team work, the freshman team – including Jordan – stood in a circle at the sound end of Lincoln Bowl, getting ready for an early-evening game against Wilson High School.
“To have that happen to him … it is unfortunate,” Jon Kitna said. “Like I told him, it is a great learning process, because in life, you can do everything you are supposed to do and still not get the results you should get. The sooner you learn that in life, the better.
“For whatever reason, God didn’t want him playing (varsity) right now.”