Heads held high

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Like many Westfield residents, I was there at Lucas Oil Stadium on Nov. 22 watching the Shamrocks take on Cathedral for the state title. While standing on the sidelines I saw the faces of the players as the final whistle blew and the dream of a first state football title ended. I write this column for them.

While the final outcome was not one any of you envisioned, Shamrocks should keep their heads held high. The tears in your eyes at the close of the game were natural. For the seniors it was their last time strapping on the chinstrap and wearing the Shamrock helmet. For others it was the last time this group got to play together and they’re losing teammates and friends.

It is said it’s not the destination but the journey that matters. Anyone still saddened by the loss to Cathedral should think about that – the time you spent in two-a-days, meeting rooms, practicing, traveling to away games only to leave the home crowd silent, and the down time when you just hung out.

Not enough? Think of the hours of enjoyment you provided those that followed and watched this team. Also think of the legacy you left and how many children in the crowd now want to play in Indianapolis like you did. And if you thought your coaches were proud of you, just imagine how your parents brimmed with pride as your name was announced at games.

This football season has been a great one for everyone involved. I’m sure the school pep sessions and Homecoming were cool, but that can’t compare to the entire community showing its Shamrock pride. Westfield is always lively – and extremely entertaining – when it comes to their spirit and your success seemed to fuel an uncontrollable fire.

Westfield went 12-2 and finished as one of the last two teams standing. Think of how many other schools covet being in that position. Think about last year and the turnaround this team made. It was due to your work, your coaches and most importantly your desire to win as a team. Your effort and ethic on and off the field makes you true champions – and that’s not a trophy that someone else will win next season.

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