It’s all over except the cryingPosted: July 25, 2011
It pains me to report such bad news. Real pain, and seriously bad news.
I’m guessing you can see where this is going.
The mighty Red Raiders went down in flames last night inthe State Championship in the great garden spot of Tyler Texas. I’ve been so busy sweating my fool head off in the 100-plus-degree heat and swilling beer after the games that I haven’t had much time to comment, and the news has not been fit to print. Yes, I know it’s a huge honor to even make it this far. Yes, I know the boys have a lot to be proud of. Yes, I know there are lots of teams in our district who would have happily come to Tyler, even if it meant going home with a loss. I get it. But I’m still disappointed.
I’m proud, but disappointed.
This team did make history in our neck of the woods. These boys were the first team in First Colony’s 25-year history to go to State two years in a row. That’s big. We have a competitive league, full of parents with the time and money to provide the kids with private lessons and coaching. We have several former pro ball players who coach and whose kids have grown up in the league. We have a whole lot of smart and dedicated parents serving on the league board, managing teams, running the fields, and cheering from the stands. So for this group of 11 boys to achieve such a back-to-back feat is worthy of notice.
But I’m still disappointed.
We dedicate our summer to baseball around here. We plan our vacation to Salisbury Beach around the potential of playing–and staying–in Tyler. For the duration of the tournament. But alas, this wasn’t our year. It was a great run, but it ended too soon. The same 4 teams from last year faced off this year, and our boys just didn’t have it. Scoring just 2 runs total in 2 games doesn’t cut it. Last night we were scoreless going into the 6th inning. Literally 0 to 0. We were starting to think about the possibility of extra innings, and wondering how much longer we would swelter in the vicious Tyler sun. Unfortunately, their bats came alive at the end of the game and ours didn’t. Landing in the losers’ bracket right off the bat is foreign territory for us. None of us–players or parents–likes it, but there are lessons to be learned from loss. Like how to be a good sport when what you really want to do is cry or cuss. Like holding your head high in the midst of crushing disappointment. Like the self-control required when facing frustration. Like the strength of character needed to dig deep and battle hard.
Sounds a lot like the lessons I’ve learned this past year in facing cancer.
The best team doesn’t always win in baseball. It’s a cruel fact. In baseball, and in life.