On Saturday August 20th, the media reported the previous night’s football scores as they always do. This of course marks the beginning of the highly anticipated High School Football season for 2016. When scrolling through the scores I am sure there were some that noted that Colonial High School lost to Celebration 32-22. To many I am sure that was a sign of, “same ole Colonial football story”. Arguably fair in nature, but far from the truth. Please be reminded that the Colonial Football Team was 0-0 before the game and are still 0-0 after the game. This was a practice game, besides a score doesn’t always reflect the entire picture. It didn’t reveal that a team that was down 32—6 in the third quarter came storming back demonstrating a sign of resilience. The Grenadiers could have folded up their tent and headed for the sidelines, only they picked each other up, and collectively banded together to go on a 16 point surge to the delight of the crowd that stood behind them. Even as the clock ticked down to the final two seconds the team of Red and Black fought to the very end. The fact that just moments beforehand the defense stopped Celebration on a fourth down play and gave our offense one last Hail Mary for our us to score one more time sent a message loud and clear. And even though they knew they couldn’t score ten points in one play it didn’t stop them from trying to draw even closer. To some this may have seen feudal, to an old coach like me it proved to me we are indeed on the right track. You see, the one thing a coach looks for in his team is to seek an identity that shows they are willing to go through the fire and withstand the heat without flinching, to get up off the ground after being knocked down, to not point fingers at each other over mistakes made, to not throw in the towel, or more simply put, don’t ever quit. This team showed they are a made of perseverance and resiliency. I have often heard and even experienced myself as a coach, teams that would run through walls for their coaches. It takes a special coaching staff to nurture that kind of effort. Coach Johnson has a plan and it includes building young minds to think boldly and to trust one another even in the face of defeat, that this is more of a marathon than a sprint. He understands the most difficult opponent often times is actually yourself before you gain your true confidence. It’s amazing what a group can do when they just buy into what the coach is preaching every day. There is a tremendous history in this country filled with great stories of underdogs and the downtrodden that overcame adversity and overwhelming odds eventually finding success. Folks if you don’t understand what I am talking about, please go watch the movies: Miracle on Ice, Hoosiers, Rudy, Blindside, Remember the Titans, The Rookie and long list of others just like them. Our Grenadiers have just given you the first chapter of their great story, it’s entitled, “Resilience”. If that is the only thing our kids learn this year it will serve them for the rest of their lives and at the same time be a crying call for our school to follow, only there is so much more to come.
I might further add what a great night it was for our school. The Marching 100 led by Jason Chapkin was absolutely awesome. The Cheerleaders led by Katie Short in their new uniforms had the crowd on their feet throughout the night. The Trainers led by Courtney Butler kept our players healthy and safe. We need to also recognize the ROTC for presenting our Countries Colors with such dignity. We had a large contingency from our Pop Warner Group, the future of our football program, backing our team. Throw in the fact that we had a very big crowd in black and red that showed their support to the very end. To me this all showed what a great night it truly was for our school and community.
I drove home Friday night after the game and found myself filled with Pride despite knowing we may have lost on a scoreboard but we won in so many other ways. This is why when we see a dark cloud we search for a silver lining hoping that it will reveal so much more… in this case it shows…
It’s great to be a GRENADIER!
By Coach Hamre
Colonial High School