Archived Story

The dream lives on

Published 12:05am Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hartselle’s football team has been on a roller coaster of a ride this season.

They’ve seen a number of ups and downs this season. They’ve struggled at times, but the team has never quit.

Sure, Hartselle could have rolled over after losing its fourth-consecutive one-possession game against Austin. They could have given up because they had an unfavorable first-round matchup against Fort Payne.

But that’s not in the DNA of the Hartselle Tigers program.

Yes, this season has been much more difficult than the 2011 state championship season ever was. That team last year only played two close regular season games.

That team only faced two do-or-die plays all season, and they both came in the playoff game at Pinson Valley.

Granted the leaders on that team had been through a number of disappointments in the previous three seasons, coming up just short of state championships.

This year, Hartselle has had to fight and claw its way into the playoffs. Nothing was ever easy. In their big games, they’ve always been a play or two away from winning or losing.

In the offseason, the coaches knew it was going to be tough to repeat as state champions, much less region champions. So they instilled a tough work ethic in their players in the offseason. They made sure the players weren’t being complacent and it paid off.

When you look at how difficult Hartselle’s schedule has been, complacency would have shown up by now.

Instead, what you see are players continuing to fight until the end. The games have been interesting. Not many gave Hartselle much of a chance at knocking off Muscle Shoals last month.

Hartselle is the only team that’s been able to go punch-for-punch with the favorite to win Class 5A. That just shows you how tough the Tigers are.

The Tigers have been knocked down several times, but no one has been able to knock them out. They always get back up and go again.

I don’t know whether Hartselle can win four more games this year, but this team has earned my respect week after week.

Regardless of how the rest of the season goes, these kids will be successful in the game of life.

Brent Maze is the managing editor of the Hartselle Enquirer.

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