I have a friend, one that I first met and chatted with online but that I have since met in real life, whose son’s football team was making a run for the NYSPHSAA championship. I have followed Dad’s posts on Facebook about wins in various games and it has taken me back.
Tonight, even though I have no connection at all to the community, I watched as the Groton Indians played the Randolph Cardinals in Rochester in the western Class D semi-final. My heart goes out to those kids who suffered their second loss of a fantastic season tonight. Losing is hard but it is a necessary lesson in life, as well as in competition.
I am taken back to the 2003-04 school year. My son was on the Maine-Endwell football team. The team had won several Class A Section 4 titles. They were good but not great. They made a run that year but fell short in the semi-final game.
The next year, my son was a senior on the team. There was a new head coach. The head coach had been the middle school principal previously. He retired from that but took the part-time coaching position. The team had lost a lot of players but had many good ones left. The season started and ended in the Carrier Dome on the campus of Syracuse University.
The kids on that 2004-05 school year team will never forget that run. They played every game with heart and were the Class A State Champions. Every game was one to remember.