Sunday, October 25, 2009

Winners even when the scoreboard...

I don’t particularly enjoy covering blowouts.

Whether it is a county team doing the blowing out or especially when one of our teams is getting blown out.

Unfortunately, the last two weeks, I have covered Poteau when it was on the bad side of a blowout.

First, it was Sallisaw 49, Poteau 7. This past week, Broken Bow downed the Pirates, 42-6.

I love watching high-school football. It is one of the joys of my life. I did not enjoy these two games as much as I did several other good games this season.

But I do believe you can find out a lot about a team’s character and that of the players when you observe how they react when things are going bad.

There is, of course, a different reaction among players and even coaches. Sometimes a player’s effort lessens when things start going bad or all hope is lost.

For others, those players play as hard on the last play as they did on the first play of the game, even when there is no hope of winning or even making the score respectable.

There wasn’t any giving up for Poteau’s coaches the last two weeks. They continued coaching just as hard at the end as they did at the beginning. So did many of the Pirates.

I don’t like to mention names, because I will miss some. But there were several Pirates who never gave up, even when there was every reason to do so.

Players like Tanner Wright, Seth Burgess, Zach Stubbs, just to name a few. The Pirates were in the second of two physical games. Several players were playing through pain against Broken Bow, a team that was just as physical or even more so than Sallisaw.

Wright was singled out by coach Jeff Broyles in an article in the Southwest Times-Record for playing despite having a leg injury. I was also impressed with the way Brody Shipley ran the ball in the fourth quarter, even though the game was well out of reach.

Offensive lineman Bryan Chaplin was walking the sidelines encouraging his teammates. Another lineman Everette Jones made a bad mistake in the first half that cost his team a needed first down.

He came back into the game, was injured at least twice but kept coming back into the game.

Nick Donathan took a vicious hit in the first half and was limping and in pain. He kept giving his all.

These were just a few of the players. I know I missed several others and for that I apologize. But their teammates and coaches know who didn’t give up. So do the opponents.

And in the game of football, much like life, the ones who don’t give up when things are going bad are winners, even if the scoreboard does not say so.

1 comment:

  1. Craig,
    You don't know how much that means to a parent to hear those kinds of words about your child. That is one thing that we have always tried to instill in our children that no matter how tough things might get whether it is in football or life in general you keep fighting the good fight. I know I speak for the parents of the other players you mentioned when I say thank you for noticing these boys, the ones who don't always get their names in print, but who are team players to the end.
    Thanks for the work you are doing with the journal. You're doing a great job!