Congrats to coaches, young men for sticking with season

Published 9:53 am Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A hard thing to clearly grasp in football is how morale and momentum affect games.

We all know it when we see it. Going into the half, a team down 28-7 somehow returns a punt for a touchdown and then goes on to win the game.

That punt served several purposes. First, it served to bring a team that was out of it back into it. Even though it was done on special teams, the offense and defense both come out after the half firing on all cylinders. And for the other team, the big give-up on special team serves to deflate what had been a good thing.

That’s even further amplified if it’s a home team. The crowd gets into it and sometimes it just looks like it’s impossible for what had looked like a superior team to stop what had clearly been the inferior team.

The same thing goes with wins and losses. Above .500, and everything is great with the world — the whole school and community loves you, practice isn’t a struggle and that game on Friday is yours to lose. Fall below .500 — people start quitting the team, going through the motions in practice and heading into the game with the mindset that they are going to lose.

In Franklin and Southampton County, both high school teams quickly fell below .500 and stayed there all season. Yet, here at the end of the season, both the Broncos and Indians strung together several wins, and come Friday, both teams will be playing in the postseason.

It can’t have been easy for team leaders and coaches to keep it going. Yet Indian Head Coach Willie Gillus and Bronco Head Coach Darren Parker did just that.

They focused on the fundamentals and went out and won enough football games to each take the No. 13 seed in their respective Virginia High School League Divisions.

Somehow, the coaches managed to keep the morale up and build the momentum toward the end of the season. And with each team going into the playoffs currently playing their best football, they look to do some damage.

To help these teams with that, we hope to see Franklin fans on Friday night in Dendron at 7; and likewise, we hope to see Southampton fans on Friday in Poqouson.

Regardless of the outcome under the lights on Friday, we believe these teams have accomplished a lot already in recovering from 1-6 starts on the season. But, if it should work out that way, we can’t help but hope to be covering football for at least one more weekend in November.