Return to story
THE PROBLEM with sports is that, at the end of the season, only one team walks away happy. Super Bowl second-place finishers, for a time at least, focus on the loss, rather than on the amazing fact that they made it to the Big Game at all. In a similar way, the James Monroe Yellow Jackets were feeling down after Saturday's loss to Brookville in the Group AA Division 3 football state championship game.
There's no point in saying they shouldn't feel bad. The emotional intensity of the game makes it difficult to shake off a defeat. But perhaps after a little time has passed the players will remember the bragging rights won by their hard-fought 12-2 season. Or the fact that they were playing in the championship game with their third-string quarterback, who did a fine job (as did the other players who had to adjust to the change). Or that they were missing some key players, including their best cornerback. Or that their climb to the final came via a triple-overtime victory over Kettle Run the week before. And especially that the final score, 24-14, was decisive but not a runaway victory for the Brookville Bees.
In fact, there's much for JM to be proud of this season, much for the football team to build on, much they can learn from. It'll just take time to get there.
For now, the Yellow Jackets deserve a hearty round of applause from the community for a job well done. Some of sports' best lessons--like training, discipline, team play, loyalty, and sportsmanship--have nothing to do with who won the Big One. May those lessons carry forward long after Saturday's loss becomes a distant memory.