Does one season define a career? This is the question that you may think ran through the varsity Crusaders minds throughout the up and down 2014 football season. Seniors Blake Putnam, Brian White, Andrew Poe, Ben Robinson, John Brock and Daniel Jensen had known what it felt like to lose a game, but it had been a long time since they had ended a season without a championship. Back to Back to Back champions for the last three seasons. Yet the sting of a final loss to the Hickory Hawks Friday Night made it hard to think about past wins and loses.
You see, it was never about the streak, the dynasty or the championships. It wasn’t about even winning or losing for most of these young men. No, they just wanted to play the game and that they loved so much. To be around their teammates, coaches, comrades, brothers in Christ. To sweat it out in hot Carolina sun at practice, so they could battle it out under the lights on Saturday nights. The hitting, running, tackling, the sights, sounds and smells of the game. The sting they felt was not because they lost the game. It was because it they knew that they had just played their final play as a Crusader. An end to what had become a normal way of life for the past 4-5 years. And as the clock ran down and the tears flowed in the final seconds Friday night, these young men continued to do what they loved to do until the last whistle blowed. They played the game they loved…They played Crusader Football!
Does one season define a career? Not when your playing for more than final score.
Not when your playing for the love of the game.