Blogs / Features
Les WillseyStaff Writer, AIA365.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Insignificant games? No such thing in players, coaches mindsAug 24, 2012
Some may have felt the Tempe High-McClintock football game Thursday night was insignificant. Not worth a look. I had a couple people ask me why I was going to cover that game earlier this week.
Afterall it was between teams that have struggled in recent years. Tempe had won one game combined in 2010 and 2011. McClintock had collected no more than three wins in a season the last couple of campaigns.
But the turnout of fans for Tempe's oldest rivalry Thursday was quite good. Fans on both sides were into it despite the lack of success in terms of wins and losses by their respective teams. All one had to do was gaze at Tempe High's reaction to their surprising 32-28 win as time ran out in what was a great game for those there and a cable-broadcast audience.
Lots of jubilation -- not only players but the Tempe coaching staff. Much of it pent up with the lack of wins in recent years. That reaction spewed a deep sense of accomplishment. Hard work for three weeks of preparation. A belief that despite having lost to McClintock the past seven years this was a new day -- another chance.
And Tempe nearly let that chance slip away. An opening drive in the second half had the Buffaloes two yards away from a three-touchdown lead that could have finished McClintock emotionally. Instead the Chargers rallied to take the lead twice down the stretch. They were on the brink of doing it a a third time when Tempe posted its only stop of the second half with McClintock at Tempe's 15.
Hamilton coach Steve Belles, who guides a program overflowing with ultimate success, has made the point that while some fans tire of Hamilton's success they forget that every year it's a different set of players trying to win a game(s) or state title. They know of the past accomplishments of teams before them, but they strive to pave their own way. Experience for themselves the journey.
It remains to be seen whether or not Tempe or McClintock will win more games than they lose this season. Regardless both teams put on a show worthy of a look and anything but insignificant via the actions, emotions of all involved from both sides. Tempe and McClintock did their fans proud and provided a reminder that teams striving to improve can put on a show as good as those in loftier positions. There are no insignificant games.