The Meaning Of The Game
A high school football game that might may not have seemed to matter much in the Grand Scheme of Things was played nearby on Friday night.
The overtime contest between two evenly-matched and equally-gritty teams served as yet another reminder of the pure and entertaining nature of high school sports.
On a weekend that saw the sport’s best teams playing ‘meaningful’ playoff games, don’t believe for one second that this game held no meaning to the two teams involved, in spite of the visitor's 3-6 record, and the home team's 2-7 mark.
It had to have meant something to the visitor’s sophomore tailback who carried the ball for over 200 yards in his 40 + carries. He was so gassed from his efforts that he wasn’t able to answer the bell at the start of the overtime period. His absence, coupled with the home team’s inspired defense, contributed to the home team's goal line stand, setting things up for their offense to win the game, which they soon did.
The game had to have meant a lot to the visitor’s massive senor receiver. This 6’ 3”, 210-pound senior trudged off the field as slowly as a human being possibly can walk, crying all the way, distraught with the realization that he had, in all likelihood, played his last game of football. When he collapsed, sobbing, into his father’s arms, it was impossible to tell if he had lost a ‘meaningless’ football game, the State Championship, or the Super Bowl.
It was obvious that winning the game meant a lot to the home team’s mainstay running back. His winning TD set off a grand celebration for his teammates, the likes of which have been few and far between for the home team of late. The post-game hug he shared with a coach lasted so long, it could have been timed with a calendar instead of a stopwatch. One can only imagine how many moms, dads, grandmas, and grandpas in attendance were warmed on the frosty night with similar hugs, and left with a memory that will last them a lifetime.
Time will only tell if the outcome of this game will hold any lasting meaning for the second year head coach of the home team and the outstanding coaching staff he has assembled, as they try to restore a program that has fallen on hard times over recent years.
You would think ending the season on a high note like this would give encouragement to the returning players to spend more off-season time in the weight room, and would inspire those boys who haven’t participated in the past to turn out for the team next year.
If so, then there would seem to have been a lot of significance to Friday’s ‘meaningless’ win.
There's no question about it.
Frank the Man