This group of young men were faced with a very difficult task. After making a state run, and then graduating a large portion of the starting line-up, it puts a lot of pressure on the incoming players to step up. Just because you’re starting new guys doesn’t mean that the end goal has changed. Obviously, the Rocks fell short of than end goal on Friday, falling to Snider 32-24.
Yet, a second, perhaps less-defined goal was to represent the Shamrock Football Family well. To come in after a successful previous year and prove that we are no flash-in-the-pan. After struggling through a grueling regular season schedule, we weren’t given much respect in the state. We went from top of the polls, to not even top ten.
Respect is earned. It is a lesson learned more often through stumbles and falls than through easy successes. This team was one that had to pave their own road. In the end, they made it back to the Regional game, knocking off the #1 5A team in the state along the way, and falling just short in a fantastic contest. While it was not the end we had in mind, I think there is no doubt that this team laid it on the line to establish that Westfield Football is no short lived phenomenon. We are a program and city that is still on the rise, and we’re building something special through the hard work and dedication of the young men that have taken ownership of this program.
Thank you, seniors, for stepping up to heed the call. It was a tall task, and while we know you would all still rather be watching film this morning, we can also say that you represented your community well. Next season we will kick off in a new stadium with high hopes to be practicing when it starts snowing again, but never forget that it was your sweat that fell first on that new turf.
One of the positive principles of life states that we should strive to leave things in a better condition than when we found them. From a football perspective, that applies to both the program and the people in it. While there is no doubt that our program continues to rise, we hope that each of our family members has experience real personal growth this season, and can carry that on to be leaders and competitors on whichever field their next contest takes place.
For us, we will continue to forge ahead with a tip of the helmet toward those who have sacrificed to provide the kind of a experiences that are life-changing. Westfield Shamrock Football continues to have a very bright future, and despite the pain we may feel at the end of something wonderful this morning, it is a very great day to be a Shamrock.