Knoxville couple finds faith and family in football

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ALCOA, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Pamela Ironside barely has a second to breathe.

"18 years and seven boys, that's a lot of football games," said Pamela.

Part of a self-described football crazy family, Pamela's Husband Kevin coaches the Bearden 8th grade team. Two of the Ironside's three adopted sons - Kai and Mugisha - play on Kevin's team while Collin is a senior on the Bearden High School squad.

"I'm sure to many people this feels ludicrous, the amount of energy we bring to this game," said Pamela.

The family was put into a bind when they found out Collin's team was playing on Rivalry Thursday because Kevin, Kai and Mugisha also had a game scheduled for that night.

"I'm sure I've missed a game somewhere along the way, but I've missed very few," said Pamela.

"We hadn't had to miss many games because they're on Friday and we're on Thursday," said Kevin.

"My heart was with Collin. We're really close. But I knew I needed to be with my man and my younger sons," said Pamela.

The Bearden 8th grade team took an 8-7 lead over Alcoa into the half but the Tornados came back to take a 20-16 lead in the 4th quarter.

Bearden responded with the game-winning score with less than a minute to play, while down the road at Hardin Valley Collin's team picked up its first win of the season.

"It's hard not being there but this is where I wanted to be - I wanted to be with my team. It's hard not being with my son, but I wanted to be with my team tonight," said Kevin.

"I don't want our boys to be defined by what they do out here on the field. It's so much more than that," said Pamela.

To many people it may feel ludicrous, but the Ironsides wouldn't have it any other way.

"It's such a flawed and messy journey, I mean seven kids, that's a lot of kids. It's chaotic and very imperfect but we're in it and doing the best to raise our boys to become men," said Pamela.

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