Loss doesn’t dim the enthusiasm –
By Mark Carpenter –
Sometimes what the scoreboard reads really makes no difference. Sometimes a full parking lot, full bleachers, and fans standing
around the rest of the field mean a whole lot more than any final score. For the coaches, players, and fans of the fledgling Peebles
Indians varsity football program, last Saturday night at Freedom Field in West Union saw the beginning of a history that has laid dormant for the past 37 years.
Yes, the scoreboard at night’s end registered a 66-0 win for the visiting Southern Buckeye Warriors, but for many in attendance those numbers made little impact as they were far more excited about the fact that a group of players in Peebles red were on the gridiron for the first time in 37 seasons and that they perhaps were a little part of Adams County sports history, now being able to say that they were there on the night that the Indians returned.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and expansion teams don’t win championships in the first year and the Indians are basically an expansion team with an even bigger disadvantage, that being a total lack of experience with a full team of players who have not played varsity level football. For Southern Buckeye, it is their second season of varsity play and just that one-year experience gap showed on Saturday night as the Warriors dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage, rolling to a 38-0 first quarter advantage and never looking back.
But the scoreboard wasn’t so important on Saturday. What was more important was the fact that two periods of Adams County sports history came together. Before the game, a group of Peebles football alumni from the 70’s and 80’s passed the torch, delivered the game ball to the current Peebles football captains. Those same alumni were introduced to rousing cheers at halftime as the Indian fans celebrated the past while enjoying the present and prepping for a football future.
That future will continue this Friday night as the Indians face yet another incredibly tough task when they return to Freedom Field to battle the West Union Dragons, the most talented and most experienced squad in the Southern Ohio Independent League. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
For the young Indians, it will be another small step in a season of “honoring the past and moving into the future.”