Niagara Gazette


October 28, 2013

MROZIAK: Losing season not always lost cause

Niagara Gazette — As the high school football season winds down for most of the varsity programs in our readership area (Grand Island is still alive and hosting a playoff game next Saturday), many local players are looking back upon this season with considerable disappointment and despair.

I’ve seen a few of their remarks on Twitter. Some of them are getting pretty hard on themselves, especially seniors, for having ended a losing season.

These seniors, along with juniors who will inherit the leadership roles on their respective squads next season, are the players I want to reach. In fact, this is for any local athlete whose season ended with a losing record, regardless of the sport, regardless of whether you’re a boy or girl.

I’m here to tell you that a losing season does not mean all hope is lost. In fact, sometimes a losing season shows a coach or scout the kind of character that higher-level programs are looking for, regardless of the numbers on the scoreboard or in the standings.

I tell you this because I have seen it happen.

Back in 2001, I began a volunteer relationship with the Buffalo Lightning Junior A hockey team, based in West Seneca and competing in the former Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League.

In a nutshell, the team was outmatched most nights, often times just running out of gas and after keeping it close for the first two periods falling apart in the third. They finished their 48-game schedule with a grand total of five wins.

Some of the players never went beyond that season and a few are still hanging around in the local late night beer leagues.

There was one kid on the Lightning, though, who got noticed.

He was just turning 16 years old at the time and, even as a frustrating season dragged on, commuted from the Rochester area after school to make practices and games, not letting up at all on his work ethic and routine.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page