The reality of high school football in the state of Indiana is that, for all but 6 teams, your high school career will end with a loss. And that loss will sting. As coaches, we like to say that if it doesn’t sting, then we have done something wrong along the way. With the dedication that it takes to be a Rock, and the culture that has been built through seniors like this class, I feel fortunate to say that last night stung. Your Rocks traveled up to Lafayette to face a Broncho that remains undefeated, ending our season with a heartbreaking 27-24 defeat.
As with most football seasons in Westfield, we were not ready for this one to end. The head coach of Lafayette Jeff provided (perhaps unintentionally) one of the best compliments I have read from an opposing coach. He said: “We watch Westfield film when we show our guys how to have fun and celebrate and get excited about the game of football.”
It could be said that it is much easier to live out your principles when things are going well, when you are winning. I cannot emphasize enough that, despite things not going their way, this team stuck together and stayed the course that had been set before them by previous Rocks. They strove to reach their full potential with exuberant enthusiasm while valuing brotherhood. They built bonds that I hope will last them a lifetime, while using their platform to have a positive impact on the world around them. In this way, we can truly say that they were able to RISE to the occasion and represent our community with PRIDE.
This year’s seniors had very big shoes to fill. Last year, we graduated 40 seniors from a state champion team. Reloading, coming back to defend that championship was a daunting task. It is a testament to the commitment of this year’s seniors that our culture and principles stayed strong. In a season filled with adversity, it was also filled with laughter, complicated handshakes, sporadic dancing and, most of all, Family.
To those seniors, thank you. You will most certainly be missed. But remember: Once a Rock, always a Rock.
To the underclassmen and all future Rocks let us be clear: the shoes did not get any smaller. Remember this year’s leadership when your own time comes. Remember these seniors and the example they have set.
As always, we are grateful for the support of our fans, community, and the administration. We are sad for the season to end, but we hope that we have made you proud as Your Rocks.