My Turn: NTHS Lakers are winners, too | SierraSun.com

My Turn: NTHS Lakers are winners, too

Wally Auerbach
My Turn

Congratulations to the Truckee football team for their successful season and awesome skills and spirit on their trek to win the State championship.

I’m sure the praise and recognition they received was all well deserved. I know some Truckee parents who are understandably very proud of their sons. I didn’t watch a single game, or read about it much beyond the headlines. I was watching the North Tahoe Lakers football team with much more interest, because that’s where my kids went to school, and where my son played this year in his last football season.

The Lakers didn’t get the press, or the fans, or the wins, but they came away with so much more.

You may know about the Lakers season. They didn’t win a single game. They lost many games by many points, and some by fewer points, but they lost them all. They started the season with about 15 players. Frankly, after the first two games at Biggs and Quincy, I saw the season coming to a quick end. I think they may have finished the Quincy game with 12 players due to injuries. But as the season progressed, every game brought new hope that they would make some great plays and score points. Every game saw their skills grow, and their attitude mature.

Probably nine of those boys played both sides of the ball every play of every game. I thought frequently about how difficult it must be for them to go out onto the field every game knowing they would likely lose, again. Obviously I didn’t really understand it until the season was over and Coach Everist was at the podium for the banquet talking about courage.

We have participated in an inspiring season watching courageous kids going out on the field knowing they had little chance to win, but suiting up and playing hard every game with a belief that today they could make a difference, or make a big play and turn things around.

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There was no trash talk or taunting, no blogging or bashing. They never wore out; they just played football. They fought hard every game, and in the process learned a huge lesson about character. I know my son felt a great sense of accomplishment when the season was over, and sadness that it was ending. This is how the entire team felt. This is how winners feel.

Charge of the Light Brigade? OK, maybe too dramatic. Point still made.

I want to thank the kids for playing such inspired football, and Scott, Skip, Scott, Al, Steve, Kevin and John for urging the boys on and giving them the opportunity to become the winners they are.

While it’s unfortunate that this year so few kids took advantage of the wonderful opportunities in the football program at North Tahoe High School, I’m certainly glad mine did.