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Blue Raiders make us proud, win or lose: Editorial

Posted 12/13/17

There is more to life than winning.

That statement is not just a platitude that you share after your team loses the big game. It’s absolutely true.

The Middletown Area High School …

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Blue Raiders make us proud, win or lose: Editorial

Posted

There is more to life than winning.

That statement is not just a platitude that you share after your team loses the big game. It’s absolutely true.

The Middletown Area High School football team lost Saturday in its second straight trip to the PIAA 3A state championship game. The game wasn’t especially close after the first quarter. A couple of late touchdowns made the final score of 41-24 look a little better.

Winning would have been a perfect ending to what has been back-to-back storybook seasons. The Blue Raiders lost only two games in 2016 and 2017, both when playing for the state title.

But it wasn’t meant to be. Coach Brett Myers graciously took the blame: “We didn’t play our best game today, and that is on me as the coach,” he said.

It’s hard to say why they lost. The snowy weather didn’t help. Maybe, as Myers said, coaches didn’t call the right plays at times. Maybe the team didn’t play as well as it could, or maybe it simply wasn’t the best team on the field.

But the loss wasn’t from a lack of hard work through the entire season, or the support of Middletown fans, who braved the snow to cheer on their team Saturday.

The Middletown area was proud of this team before the loss. Nothing that happened during the game should change that.

Yes, losing hurts. The hard work, the hours, the sweat … it didn’t pay off in the ultimate goal of a state title.

Blue Raider fans are rightfully disappointed — not in the players, but in the result of the game. Last year, the trip to the finals was a bit of a surprise. This year, as the team showed great success from the start, it was more of an expectation.

But winning a title is hard. Out of all the 3A teams in the state, only one can be the champion.

Of course winning is better than losing. You could tell from the looks on the players’ faces how disappointed they were to hold the state runner-up trophy for the second straight year.

However, we won’t cheer with any less enthusiasm next season because they didn’t win the title.

The team came up short on the scoreboard, but there are lessons learned through sport that will last them their entire lives. Teamwork, hard work, having a common goal, having respect for others … those things will last long after they play their last game.

We love hearing about the little gestures that the team carries out.

For example, seniors Kyle Truesdale and Blake Jacoby, two of the captains, recently presented a ball to Paul Thompson as a gift from the team. Thompson is 84. He fell down the bleachers following the Blue Raiders’ 35-0 win over Scranton Prep in Bethlehem on Nov. 24. On Dec. 6, the players surprised him with the ball as he was getting into his car to drive to the high school to buy tickets for Saturday’s state championship game at Hersheypark Stadium.

The players also chatted with Thompson for about five minutes.

“They did good,” Thompson told the Press & Journal about their kind act.

Indeed. They “did good.”

We hope that continues for the rest of their lives.