A losing streak that has spanned 29 years and hung around the neck of Pioneer football like a concrete block has been terminated.
Now it’s time to find a new way to define Warren County High School football and I’m ready to start looking for adjectives.
The streak had endured for so many years, it’s hard to comprehend it really is a thing of the past. I had barely settled in as the new Standard sports guy when I was warned about Warren County football. It’s not fun to watch, I was told. Our team is not good, it was emphasized.
That was 25 years ago in 1995 when the losing streak was still in its infancy.
There have been opportunities along the way to break the 29-year losing streak long before it became so suffocating. I think Year 3 of the coach Sid Fritts era would have been that time in 1997, but Fritts left town before the season began and that team still managed to go 4-6 with an erratic run-and-shoot offense.
In the 2005 season, the Pioneers had a chance to end the streak under coach Chris Madewell at just 15 years. Warren County held a 5-4 record heading into the regular season finale at Nunley Stadium against a very bad Coffee County team.
Using the same three plays the entire game, Coffee County stunned the Pioneers and Warren County ended the regular season 5-5. A first-round playoff loss would send the Pioneers to 5-6 … and the streak continued.
Scott Smith, who most people don’t even remember as a WCHS football coach, was literally two plays away from ending the streak in 2014 when the Pioneers finished 4-6.
The Pioneers had a 2-point conversion stuffed that would have beaten Coffee County, then had a FG blocked that would have beaten Stone Memorial. Both those plays were in the closing seconds and would have lifted the Pioneers to 6-4 if they went the other way.
After years of missed opportunities, the WCHS losing streak is officially buried. It’s such a beautiful thing to say.
This year, all those dejecting losses have been replaced by thrilling victories. When the game is on the line, the Pioneers believe they’re going to win – and they do.
So much has to do with a positive mentality and the willingness to play hard.
Give it 100% is an old sports cliché, but I’ve seen many teams that don’t.
This year’s WCHS football team plays full throttle and it shows. It shows it their attitude. It shows in their swagger, and it shows on the scoreboard.
Most of all, it shows where it counts – in the record books. The Pioneers are 6-0 and the streak is finally over! It’s time to celebrate.