Jersey Numbers

An Unlikely Significance To A Walk On's Jersey Number

After four years of a Division I soccer story like no other, senior night strikes a new understanding of it all.

Megan Aaron

My name's Megan Aaron. I'm the one in the cover photo, I'm the walk on, I'm #29 and have been #29 since I became a part of Troy Women's Division I Soccer program in fall of 2015. Because I was a last minute walk on, I didn't get much of a say in my jersey number, and was solely happy to be awarded a locker and a jersey after passing the fitness tests. My whole life as a soccer player, I always had the number 3 or 5 in my jersey. My first numbers were 53 on a competitive team in Alaska at age 9. Then I became, 15 in honor of Megan Rapinoe, 5, and 13 in honor of Alex Morgan (my complete girl athlete crush at the time). Even in basketball I always had a 3 or 5 in my jersey. It was symbolic to me in a way. It was "lucky."

I had made every team I ever tried out for because of those numbers. When I was handed the numbers 29 I wasn't sure if it held any significance. As if maybe this was a "new start to an ongoing soccer story" for me? A week or so into freshman year, I found out my cousin's robotics team had numbered their award-winning robot #29. I thought that was cool, and coincidental. It was a part of success in my own family tied to the numbers 29. So I kept them.

As the years went on and the seasons flew by, I gradually grew in significance within the program. I realized the role I played on the team was special and unlike many other girls who come to play Division I college soccer. I was never, and have never been one of the starting 11. I don't score the most goals, although I have scored a couple. I'm not even the number one sub off of the bench. I'm the team morale leader. I'm the "mom." I'm the one who picks up the equipment without complaint, time and time again. I'm the one who lifts people up and encourages them. And for years I struggled with it, and it often became frustrating, but now within my final season of soccer, it's been nothing but humbling and rewarding.

As I was warming up for practice yesterday, I jogged past the senior class' numbers spray painted on the field in honor of the senior home game coming up. I looked at the numbers 29 and immediately felt like somewhere in the Bible, there was a verse numbered 29 and somehow I needed to read it. Instantly I heard Corinthians 1:29. During the whole 2-hour practice, I remembered Corinthians 1:29. I had no clue what that verse said, so I looked it up as I ate breakfast and it read, "no one should boast before God." As I read the verses following, summed up they say that no man should boast before God because we were created BY Him and FOR Him, so if anything, we should boast IN Him as our creator and reason for any success or goodness. Instantly I felt a sense of pride and understanding for my past years as #29.

Had I started, played big minutes, and had some incredible stats, this senior day home game would've been all about me. I would've stood proudly and probably slightly arrogant about my success on the field within this program. But that's not my story. The numbers 29 don't have big stats on the roster sheet. In fact, it probably doesn't look like most senior athletes stats sheets from any college sport. I can guarantee you there are freshmen on my team with more minutes played or goals scored in the season than me. And that's okay. Because that means the success I have had these past four seasons isn't external. It can't be written down and recorded and said out loud over the speakers come senior day. I can't be boastful whatsoever, because any success I've had with this program and any goodness that I've been a part of, has come from Him. And that's okay. That's good The #29 has more significance than any jersey I had with the number 3 or 5 in it.

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