COLUMN: Getting to the finish is a win

Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

Random thoughts:

     There are ups and downs to any high school sports season, but no matter how the Monticello High School fall seasons would have turned out (and they’re not over yet), you’d have to say they have been successful?

     Why? Because they got to compete.

     I’ve had this conversation with many people this fall. It’s a good thing I wasn’t able to, but I would have made a pretty hefty wager that football, in particular, wasn’t going to get past the third week of the season due to the coronavirus.

     I figured cross country might be all right, due to the fact it’s outdoors and the runners naturally distance themselves from one another as a race goes on. And I had a hunch volleyball, one of those rare sports in which opponents stay on opposite sides and don’t come into contact with each other, had a shot as well.

     But football? With contact and pileups happening frequently? I figured it was only a matter of time before COVID outbreaks would cut seasons short.

     Athletic directors across the state must have been concerned as well, which is why many teams conducted their Senior Night celebrations at the first home contest, rather than the last.

     There were blips along the way, with teams having to miss a week or two here and there. But to look at the big picture, and realize we are heading for the finish line of a complete, or nearly complete, fall season for the vast majority of teams, is to be amazed.

     No matter the record, there were lots and lots of winners. It gives one hope that the winter sports might be able to proceed in the same way.

     • So strange, how a team’s fortunes can change so quickly during a season. Panther volleyball wins an outright River Valley Conference, North Division title, but is ousted six days later in the quarterfinals of the regional tournament.

     The cross country boys follow a similar path, winning the RVC but finishing fifth in an ultra-competitive field at the state qualifying meet.

     So amazing, these victories. So sudden, these endings to the season. I hope these kids remember the ups.

     • Regarding boys cross country, which saw its 23-year streak of qualifying for the state tournament come to an end, I just have this to offer (and this goes for the girls as well):

     Start a new one.


Subscriber Login