Tonight was our last regular season game, and it was at home. That means it was also senior night. Our opponent was the one we lost to a few weeks ago in five games, losing the last one by two points. They wanted it bad.
At first, I feared the worst. We blew a 10-point lead and lost the first game. I wasn't surprised, but certainly disappointed. However, they won the next three, and did it in fairly convincing fashion. We never got huge leads, but my kids were so fired up, and so intense, that they were pretty awesome. We also had the single biggest crowd I've seen at that little school, and it made a huge difference.
So despite all of the distractions and a few parents that continue to question my ability and motivation for coaching, today was one of those days where you remember why you do it. Every kid contributed, half of them had their best matches of their high school careers. Kids that were "projects" to say the least at the start of the season have come around to be bona fide athletes and competitors. It was awesome, and it really provided the validation that I needed.
JV won too, and it was like they finally clicked. I give Liz so much credit for her patience in dealing with those kids. I couldn't do it because I'm used to high-level coaching, not basic skills coaching. She really balanced me out this year, and I'm so grateful she coached.
After the match, we went out for a late dinner at a kind of mediocre restaurant, but it was nice to see how happy and excited they all were, especially the seniors. They will certainly be missed next year.
So a week from Saturday we play our first tournament game, and we play until we either lose or win the state D-4 title. I have my fingers crossed that the team I saw today is the one that shows up. If it's that team, I'll be pleased, win or lose.
Today it was worth all the drama and nonsense. Today the kids exceeded every expectation and showed that they've been listening. It was a good day.