Friday night is the last regular season game for the Maryville Spoofhounds football team. Where did the season go? It seemed like last week Lawson came to Maryville to open the season.
It’s been an unpredictable football season. No one wanted to admit it at the start of the season, but a Class 3 football program just can’t lose 23 seniors and not have a crack or two the next season.
This bunch of players has been the closest to me as far as watching their careers. You see, they have grown up with my son, Sam. Sam played football briefly in junior high. He knew football wasn’t his sport, so he took pitching lessons while many of his friends entered one of the most dominate programs ever seen in Class 3.
As I look at the photos of Sam growing up, many of them are of sport teams with this year’s senior class. I think my favorite is with Sam and Jalen Sundell after a youth soccer game. I think they were both six years old. They are eating pop sickles after an intense game. Jalen is at least a foot taller than Sam, even at six. I’ll bet neither could tell you who won the game.
Sam has been lucky to grow up in Maryville and be part of very special athletic teams, even as a manager of the football team. Another favorite photo is after a very cold game in Savannah. Sam had his picture taken with the Highway 71 sign, although his hoody covers most of his face.
I do feel sorry for this year’s senior class. There is some real talent in the class. I’ll bet a few end up on college football rosters. It wasn’t their lack of talent that caused a couple of regular season defeats. You just don’t lose 23 players off a Class 3 roster and expect the same results the next year.
There have been moments of tough luck for the class of 2018. I thought Reece Bickford would really have a break-out year. He proved his blazing speed on the track last spring. Sadly, his season ended during the summer when he experienced a very bad ankle injury. I just hope the ankle heals by track season.
It was going to be tough enough playing an entire season with your fastest player hurt. Then your middle linebacker and fullback go down in a terrible twisted mess at Benton. Not many people in St. Joseph that night thought Jacob Reuter would play again in his high school career. It looks like they were wrong.
Another senior running back, Mark Zahnd, had a leg injury in the next game. The Spoofhounds are running out of running backs. I know Coach Matt Webb would never talk about the season to the media, using injury as any kind of excuse. I’m just an old basketball coach that tries to act like he knows something about football.
Here’s what I know for sure. Twenty-three seniors left the program a year ago. The backfield has been a battle field with injuries. Still, somehow the Spoofhounds have won six games headed into the home finale with Lafayette.
I don’t really know what will happen. Lafayette is very fast and very talented. Coach Webb just might come up with the perfect game plan, motivate his team to a fever pitch, and Maryville will win game number seven of the season.
In the long run, it just doesn’t matter all that much. If Maryville can just get a little healthier, the district championship will go through Chillicothe. Who wouldn’t want another shot at that team?
Seniors, don’t let anyone tell you anything negative. You have done an unbelievable job competing this season. The odds have been stacked against you. Injuries have made it worse. Just having a winning season would have been a great accomplishment.
Streaks may have ended but you have carried on the Spoofhound tradition. You have made your community proud of you. It’s hard to believe the regular season will be over about 9:30 Friday night. That really went quick.