David Mitchell commentary: End of losing streaks help Columbus, Jordan focus on success

dmitchell@ledger-enquirerSeptember 25, 2013 

Winning isn’t a cure-all, but it sure does help.

Just ask members of the Jordan and Columbus football teams, which both ended long losing streaks over the past two weeks.

The Red Jackets, mired in a 26-game skid dating back to the 2010 season, defeated Temple 14-13 two Saturdays ago, causing coach Jim Brown to show a little emotion after the game.

“I cannot tell you how happy I am right now with the way our players held on and put forth the effort, he said, voice cracking, according to the Ledger-Enquirer’s coverage.

The Blue Devils, perhaps inspired by Jordan’s victory, ended a 19-gamer of their own with a 35-13 win over Northside last week.

“We were tired of losing,” wide receiver James Traylor said after the game.

Those wins don’t change everything for either team. Jordan followed its win with a loss to a talented Spencer squad the next week, and Columbus gets Carrollton, one of the best teams in Class AAAA, next.

With that said, the positive impacts can be enormous.

Consider the fact that seniors on this year’s Jordan team were freshmen the last time the team got a win before this year. For Columbus, they were sophomores. The majority of players on both teams didn’t know what it felt like to see their hard work pay off on Friday night.

Having that feeling and understanding what it takes can go a long way to helping a team in the future.

Success begets more success. That phrase came about for a reason.

It also helps players escape the cycle of monotony each week. They understand that the work they’re doing during the week isn’t just a formality.

They can win football games.

So, what’s next for these teams? It’s hard to say.

It’s clear there is talent there. Columbus could just as easily be 3-0 as 1-2 right now, having nearly defeated Brookstone and playing Hardaway fairly close in back-to-back losses to open the season.

The real difficulty with turning one win into a few wins for either team this year is the fact that they’ll play some very talented teams in region play. The Blue Devils get Carrollton, Shaw and, best of all, top-ranked Sandy Creek. Jordan gets Heard County and Manchester.

Clearly, the opponents aren’t getting any easier.

Whether either team gets another W the rest of the season may be irrelevant, though. Not necessarily to them, of course. They want to win every game they play.

But for us, as viewers of high school football in the area, we should already judge this season a success for both.

It isn’t easy to fail again and again on Friday night, but keep coming back for more. Both teams can finally see the fruits of their labor and understand why it’s so important to keep at it even when victories feel like a pipe dream.

If nothing else, that’s a huge lesson players can take away from this season.

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