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The Golden Eagles Defeat The Polar Bears by Brooke H

Tonight was going to be a great night of football for my team. I could just feel it. Before the game, I had written my intro….

Who Wins – A Polar Bear or an Eagle?

Polar Bears are playful, intelligent, curious, confident, overpowering, and protective. An eagle is domineering, strong -willed, independent, competitive, screwed, and vocal. An eagle has been known to take down prey that was roughly the same weight as a bear. Yet, the largest eagle never fought anything close to as strong and vicious as an angered bear. Tonight, hundreds of fans will file into Bob Commings Field in Plain Township to see who will be victorious…. The Polar Bear or The Eagle?

I was excited to come home and write about a victory tonight. Unfortunately, as the fourth quarter came to an end, the scoreboard read: GlenOak: 21  Jackson: 16

I sat in the bleachers and was upset. As the fans were leaving, I was wondering – What  was I going to write about? This is not what I had planned. We had a tough loss the week before against Lake. I just knew this week we were going to win. I was not physically on the field with the team tonight, but I honestly felt the hurt of tonight’s loss.

So, what happens when the outcome is not what you expect? The question is no longer –

Who Wins – A Polar Bear or an Eagle? The new question is: What happens after a loss?

When my softball team lost a tough game, venting was my way of dealing. Once I had a chance to shed my feelings, I was just starving. I had just left it all on the field. A good burger would also help right about now.

I appreciated “my people” letting me grieve and be ok with me grieving. I would really feel bad after a loss. I knew my mom and brother did too. As we came off the field, I hated hearing people standing around commenting, “It’s ok. The loss doesn’t matter.”. At that moment, of course it matters. Just as a win matters.

I appreciated when I was told that others were proud of me. A reminder of any small victories throughout the game… that was important. Encouraging me to take ownership of and joy in the things that I can control…. that was helpful.

After a loss, we knew what we did wrong as a team. And there was also no need to play the blame game. It was not the coaches’ fault, the ref’s fault, the gentleman in the stadium, left side of the visitor’s seating, forth row up, seventh seat in. I learned that if we wanted to win, we needed to win decisively. There was always going to be a bad call here or there. I appreciated it when my coaches didn’t sugar coat things. They were clear about what went wrong. No one likes to fail. And as an athlete, you know the importance of learning from our mistakes.

I never wanted to hear that winning isn’t everything. At that point, it feels like it is. I have been working more than 30 hours a week for months, even years now. I eat, sleep, softball, and repeat every single day. Yes, I understand it was my choice. But as a team, we had goals that we were striving for. Over the years you learn, if you have not established a healthy attitude on winning and losing before the game, a speech on the bus, in a van, or in the car won’t have a positive influence on you. But a loss still really hurts.

When entering the Golden Eagles stadium, you normally would see the colors of forest green and Vegas gold. But this evening, both the Jackson students and the GlenOak student sections were showing a “Blackout”.

Jackson kickoff’s to GlenOak didn’t start off as the Polar Bears had hoped. Jaylen McElroy, for the Golden Eagles, catches the ball and returns it 90 yards for a touchdown. PAT was good. GOHS – 7. JHS – 0

Jackson’s first four offensive drives down the field were  quarterback draws. As QB Ecrement continued to move his Polar Bears towards the end zone, he connected with #2 Anthony Fuline for a 25-yard gain. Unfortunately, the Eagles regained possession. Jackson’s defense and Foster Stanley are quick to put a stop to the Golden Eagles offense. Here Comes the Bears! With an outstanding combination of Ecrement, Phillips, Pastorius, Fuline, Benson, and Satterfield the Bears solidly march down the field. QB Ecrement is then tackled for a loss of six yards. That does not stop Jackson. Quarterback keeper…. #3 Ecrement runs in for the TOUCHDOWN!!! PAT was no good. GOHS – 7. JHS – 6.

At the end of the first quarter, GlenOak’s offense was met with Jackson’s defensive team doing an excellent job to slow down the Eagles and totally shut them down from moving the ball forward. As the JHS defense came off the field, you could see the excitement and hear the praises ring through the stadium by the Polar Bears Defense Coaches. Jumping up and down with fists in the air, “YES, Come On! That is how we do it! Great Job! That is GREAT Defense!!!”.

In the second quarter, as The Bears defense took the field, you heard the announcer throughout the series commend, “Foster Stanley, Cooper Geissinger, Kyle Benson, Joseph Lattarulo, and Evan Mauser. “Excellent defense. Wow, what a take down!”. Nathan Kuntz, Kyle Andrews, Keegan Stanley, Robert Eberhardt, and Zach Ferguson were also on the field and a part of that incredible defense domination.

The Eagle’s kickoff to Jackson’s special teams. An awesome return of 26 yards. The Polar Bears  accept the challenge and prepared to score. Ecrement completed a pass to Anthony Fuline for a gain of 10 yards. Ecrement keeps the ball, first down. Noah Colando, then rushes for a gain of 15 yards. Ecrement with the carry in – TOUCHDOWN JACKSON! PAT is good. GOHS – 14. JHS – 13   As the game went on, both GlenOak and Jackson would score again in the second quarter. GOHS – 21 JHS – 16. Over the course of the second half, both teams fought to a stalemate without either team scoring.

Next week, the Polar Bears are in the confines of their home field to face the McKinley Bulldogs.



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