OPINION: How 'bout them Blazers, Indians?
A monumental week in prep football
One of the worst parts of being a sports reporter is this:
"Hey, coach. Well, you lost 49-0, what went wrong for you guys out there?"
That's me, or any other queasy writer trying to fill a game report with a few quotes.
You can see it on every face of every coach in every sport: We worked all year, practiced almost every day, kept our grades up, and then we came out here and got blasted.
And there's us — the reporter who pours salt in the wound immediately following a loss.
It's not easy for us, but that's only because we recognize how difficult it is for coaches and players.
It's nothing new; almost every school, coach has their sport, season of downright misery every so often.
For example, over the past five weeks in prep football, we have been waiting, hoping to get a peppy Friday night call from Marysville High head football coach Cullen Meyer, Lindhurst's Jason Neiber and Gridley's John Cooprider.
We have seen, heard or reported downright blowouts suffered by these three teams this season.
Marysville had been outscored 194-33 coming into Friday's game; Gridley's margin was 211-14; and Lindhurst had allowed 270 points in five games and put up 16. Needless to say, the teams had a combined record of 0-15.
In these types of games, it gets to the point where the injuries, uncompetitiveness and simple loss of confidence just isn't worth it.
I admit, I even toyed with a column asking the Blazers to call off the rest of their season — for the kids' sake.
Then Friday happened ... And Saturday. ...
Marysville won. Lindhurst won. And while Gridley lost 28-12 to Oroville, I did have the score incorrectly flip-flopped in Saturday's paper — wishful thinking.
Two for three isn't bad, and when you know the coaches, and all the time they and their players put into these seasons, there is a small part of us that rejoices for them.
Meyer sounded like a kid again, like when his Indians knocked off the Blazers to win a Sac-Joaquin Section title in 2008.
"I'm so happy," he said following the game.
Coach, I'm so happy.
As to coach Neiber and Lindhurst, well, you proved us wrong with a 22-14 win over West Campus.
"It was good on Friday (Saturday)," he said.
Indeed it was.
And while these victories were special for those programs, they were likely overshadowed by a monumental week of prep football in our area.
Yuba City did what most thought was possible, yet unlikely, and knocked off Inderkum 49-42 in Natomas.
The Tigers were riding a 27-game win streak in conference play and were the No. 2 ranked team in Division II in the section.
The win solidifies Yuba City as a contender for a title, and the Honkers will surely rise in regional rankings.
Then we have River Valley — folks, the Falcons have been the most inconsistent team in the Mid-Valley. They topped a good Central Valley team (which just blew away arguably one of the best teams in the Northern Section in West Valley), yet failed to produce against Center and Bear River.
On Friday, the Falcons beat conference foe Pioneer in the most impressive of fashions — 49-28.
No one saw that coming, not even the local reporter, who wasn't queasy, but happy to ask the post-game questions.