SportsCow.com received the following email from Wayne Petermeier, the head coach of the Browerville high school football team. The email arrived shortly after the Tigers lost in the Section 6A championship game to New York Mills. Even though it was mainly directed at fans of the Tigers, it was so well written and raised so many good points for other teams and communities to consider, that I wanted to share it with you.
The Browerville Tigers season came to an end on Thursday. It was a very good high school football game from both team's standards. It had all the emotions from the highs and lows that go with high school sports and high school athletes. There was a winner and a loser. There were good plays and bad plays. There were good plays called by the coaching staff and bad plays called by the coaching staff. There were good defensive plays and some "not so good" defensive plays. There were passes caught and some passes that just missed. It's a game of inches or in this case a game of about a quarter inch.
There were so many turning points in the game that I have forgotten about half of them already. This brings me to points beyond the game itself.
If any person has been a part of athletics you will understand my feelings. You sometimes hear that when a school needs to cut things, sports is often thought of as a possibility. You often hear, "What good does sports do in the long run of life?" Well, if you happened to be at the Fargodome on Thursday, you may have a different feeling of the importance of team, togetherness and the working of a common goal.
Each and every young man on that field laid absolutely every ounce of energy (physically and mentally) on that field. To see these young men get up play after play totally exhausted made you wonder "why" or "how" they could do it. They trusted the person next to them that they were giving the best possible effort they could. Each and every person on that field never once backed down from adversity or the task at hand.
There's the question of "What does sports teach anyone anyway?"
With the high priced players we see on TV or players in the news about this bad thing or that bad thing happening everyday, we were able to see athletics at its purest and finest form. Kids playing a game because they just love being out there as a part of a team. Not very many, if any, of these kids will ever wear a uniform again. They were in it for all the right reasons. Those reasons are to each his own. They competed to their fullest ability and gave an effort play after play that we as a coaching staff and community can be proud of. A lot of life's lessons are taught on the playing field. How they handle them is what is learned. If this game was any indication of how these young men will turn out in the game of life, I think they proved on this day and this season just how their lives will turn out.
Yes, I know it's just a game. But its more than just a game to the athletes who put so much extra time and effort into something they are doing because they love to do it. I am proud to say I had the honor of coaching this group of young men. To each and every one of you "thanks" for a great season and thanks for keeping the tradition of Tiger football alive and well.