BLHS football team looks ahead to 2003
Football is a metaphor for life, and Basehor-Linwood coach Paul Brown tries to impress that on his players.
The first several pages of the team's playbook focus on the character needed to be successful in the game of football.
Win or lose, Brown said football teaches players lessons that no other sport can teach.
Unfortunately for the 2002 Bobcats, they learned the hard lesson of losing.
After two championship seasons for Basehor-Linwood football, Brown and his team began this season with high expectations. Eventually, all of those expectations fell by the way side, as each week, Basehor-Linwood picked up a loss.
Ending the season 0-9, Brown can still find a positive aspect.
"I have a mixture of feelings," Brown said. "One's disappointment for not accomplishing what you want to do. But, I still think even through losses, you learn. This season may help them when they're older.
"For the seniors, they've seen both sides of the spectrum. They were champions as sophomores and juniors. I wish it were different this year for the seniors, but maybe there's a bigger plan for them than what I have for them."
Brown emphasized that the season was a learning experience for everybody involved. In addition to life lessons, Brown said the younger players on the team gained much needed experience.
Coaches are still trying to analyze this season to determine what went wrong, but they are already looking toward the 2003 season.
"I feel excited for what is ahead with the young guys we have," Brown said. "Our young guys got a lot of playing time, so they'll have some thing to build on for the future."
Brown said a key to overcoming a bad season is to get better in the offseason, and players are already taking steps to do that.
Players are strengthening team unity already and will soon have a meeting with coaches to see what they can do to improve.
"After the last game, I told the younger guys that the next season starts tomorrow," Brown said.
The team agreed.
Several players traveled with Brown to watch a football game, and they plan to go to another together. Activities like that can help strengthen the team, Brown said.
"The kids are anxious," Brown said. "We're ready to get things rolling."
In order to convert that excitement into success, the Bobcats will have to do more than go to games and have meetings.
Brown said he wants his players to remain active. He encourages them to go out for other sports and to lift weights.
Brown said if they truly prepare, than football will work itself out.
Although the 2002 football season was not successful, expectations for next year have not fallen off.
"Expectations don't change," Brown said. "We want to win league and district. What we will do is mold and shape them to get where we need to go."
Wherever they end up going in 2003, Brown will consider the experience worthwhile if the lessons football teaches its participants are learned.