Before Joplin, we only won 3 games and lost 15. While that may be a poor season or deemed a failure by many in the world, for us this was a year of learning and great development. We lost 4 starters from last year’s team and only returned 2 players with any real experience.
But the boys continued to work hard and they never quit. I actually think that one of the most important things that we learned was that success does not come easily, you have to fight for it. So hard work and perseverance once again was faithful and loyal to the overall cause. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). This scripture became cemented in our thinking and we knew that if we would not become weary in our well doing that indeed we would reap a harvest in due season.
So we went to Joplin with our 3-15 record and lost a hard-fought opening contest to the eventual state champions, only trailing by 4 points in the 4th quarter. Then after trailing the entire game of our next contest, we finally caught fire outscoring our opponent 27-13 in the last 8 minutes to propel ourselves to victory! Next, we played our best complete game of the season and won 3rd place in the MCSAA State Championship Tourney in solid fashion. This was by far our best showing in our four years of competing at “State”!
One of our most difficult and challenging years turned into one of our most rewarding seasons ever! The key was hard work, unity and never giving up! I’m so proud of what these guys accomplished this year and the future is very bright.