A message to the kids at Sun Valley: I feel your pain

I have to admit I had to read it twice. It's not a typo.

The Sun Valley football team got beat Friday night by Massillon Washington in Ohio, 101-6.

There will be a lot of questions about this game, many of which have been debated on social media since I first posted about the game early Saturday morning.

Did the Ohio team intentionally run up the score? That does not appear to be the case. The team started substituting early. That did not stop the onslaught.

Unbeaten Massillon Washington dropped 56 points on Sun Valley in the second quarter. They led 73-6 at halftime.

In the third quarter, the score was 94-6. A final score pushed Massillon Washington over the century mark.

Massillon Washington is a perennial national power. So what was this Sun Valley team doing out there in the first place? It turns out Sun Valley had an opening in their schedule caused by some issues with the Ches-Mont League, where they are now a member.

They wanted to fill the empty date rather than have a week off, so they made the jaunt to Ohio.

It's a trip they won't soon forget, and nor just for a side trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.

My guess is that the coaches, school officials and others will get an earful about the decision to take this game.

That's not my concern here.

I'm thinking more about the kids on that team.

And I have a message for them.

I know the feeling. In fact, I know exactly how you feel.

I was once a member of a fledgling Oxford High team that traveled to Chichester. Our coach had grown up there and played for the legendary Tony Apichella. He was now returning to challenge his mentor.

It did not go well.

We lost, 72-3. No, that's not a typo either.

I have always told people that I learned more about myself and life from that group of guys and my experiences playing football than I did in most of the classes I sat in.

The bottom line? It happens.

You don't always win. Some days you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you.

Funny thing, I don't remember a lot about the few victories we managed as a football team. The truth is most days we took our lumps. But I will never forget that Saturday morning at Chichester. In particular I remember not only how good the Chi kids were, but how they acted. There was no attempt to rub our noses in it. There was no celebrating. They were just light years better than us, and it didn't take long for that to show up on the scoreboard.

If I were a part of the Sun Valley family today, there is something I would take pride in. There were no reports of incidents during or after the game.

Yes, you lost a football game.


I know the feeling.

Believe me, life goes on. Use it as a life lesson.

Things don't always go your way.

I assure you there will be many times in your life when you will refer back to the lesson you learned on that field Friday night.