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DEMAIN EVENT: What we learned from Sutter's showing
Sutter looks good for the future
Bruises, lumps and the hangover of an emotional loss surely took its toll on many Sutter High football players on Sunday morning.
Not only does the 23-7 loss to Marin Catholic in the biggest game this area has seen sting, but for the seniors, reality of their last game played will slowly take its course, if it hasn't already.
It's not easy, but the sunny truth of the matter is that the season was not only a milestone, but a monster step for future teams.
Garrett Wallace, Nathan Ahlers and others were knocked out of their last game due to injuries, but the sacrifices made on the field were well worth it considering the major leap the program took.
There is now a gateway for Sutter to get the nod once again, because once a team gets in a bowl game, it's likely to get that chance again.
Think of the bowl system like a fraternity, or a private club — once you get invited, the CIF seems to have a penchant for inviting you back.
The CIF bowl games are reserved for the best, but the committee likes their "programs" and traditions.
Since the state bowl system began in 2006, more than a quarter of the teams that have been invited after winning section titles played in a second or even third bowl game.
While this could just be the result of several quality programs having continued success, some of this is favoritism.
The inclusion of the regional bowl games, or play-in games, sort of nullifies my theory, because it shows that the CIF is trying to not only make sure the best teams play for a state title, but also give the little guys a chance — like our Northern Section teams, in this case, Sutter.
However, the committee still makes the selections to those games, as well.
Some of the things we learned from Saturday's game:
Well, the coaching staff at Sutter is the real deal.
Kudos especially to Matt Schamanski, and the others who assisted in disguising the defense.
It was obvious that Marin Catholic's offense couldn't get into any rhythm for most of the game. The Huskies were flying around before the snap and it took the Wildcats completely off guard.
From the adjustments to the play-calling, Sutter had a gameplan, but as coach Ryan Reynolds said before, his team had to play an almost perfect game to win. And the thing is, the Huskies almost did.
Something else we learned is that the Northern Section is still the little brother of the Sac-Joaquin Section and Northern Coast Section.
A loss is still a loss, and until a Northern Section team can earn a win over the powers that be, the section won't overcome the label. With that said, as a 7-7 halftime score poured down the pages of Twitter followers all over the state, heads turned and people took notice.
From the Bay Area to Stockton and Sacramento, Sutter earned its respect right there, regardless of the outcome.
And both teams had an enormous amount of respect for each other as well. It was evident from the on-the-field prayer to the meeting before the game — the camaraderie was special.
The last thing I learned was to not count on multimedia.
Hundreds, if not thousands (2,500 hit count), were disappointed when the livestream feed was yanked off the Web. An audio feed was still available, but frustrating for those who couldn't attend nonetheless.
All in all, a very good season of football for the Mid-Valley, and after hearing about the years that our JV and freshmen teams had, we're looking forward to 2013 — especially Sutter's undefeated up-and-coming class.
CONTACT Bryan DeMain at email@example.com or 749-4789. Find him on Facebook at advarsitysports or on Twitter at @ADbdemain.