North Douglas d Mapleton
Oct. 30, 2019 — Despite a second straight loss by the Sailors on Friday against North Douglas, Coach Jeff Greene had nothing but pride in his team.
“Our kids played really hard,” he said. “I was really proud of them and how they just kept fighting.”
The odds were against them from the start due in large part to the one issue that has plagued the Sailors as the season has gone on: Injuries.
“We had two starters banged up,” Greene said. “We were scrambling on Thursday night figuring out what we could do. We only had 10 guys playing that game,” compared to 15 who are on the roster.
The Warriors took advantage of the Sailors’ small numbers at the beginning, shutting out the Sailors through most of the first half.
“We were down 22-0,” Greene said. “We didn’t come out of the gate very well. We scored at the half, then it was 22-8. We came back at them.”
The Sailors were able to push the score to within three points of the lead, 22-20.
“It was encouraging to see because they were down 22 for the first time all year and they came back,” said. Greene.
But the small numbers began to wear on the Sailors, and soon the Sailors were down to seven players on the field against the Warriors’ eight.
“We just didn’t have any more bodies to throw at them and we ended up losing by two touchdowns,” Greene said.
But the loss was nothing to be ashamed about. Of the Sailors that remained on the field, three of the seven were freshmen. None of the players gave up.
“They could have just rolled and been done with it, but they didn’t,” Greene said. “They battled and made it a game. The younger kids did such a good job for what we asked them to do. They did everything they could possibly do in the game.”
Greene singled out newer players such as Jeff Bernhardt, Mason Flansberg, Kody Wierichs and Jesse Hughes for sticking it out and giving everything they could.
“Just battling. The younger kids did a good job for what we asked them to do,” Greene said. “They did everything they possibly could in the game. I was so proud of those guys, sticking through it and battling through adversity.”
Neither Greene nor the team are worried about their playoff chances. The past two losses have lit a fire that the Sailors needed.
“It’s like our kids have to get mad before they start playing well,” Greene said.
And the kids will be healthy. For the first time in weeks, a roster of 12 players will be taking the field this Friday night at Perrydale.
“We’re excited for the opportunity this week, having everybody back,” said Greene. “If we beat Perrydale, we could possibly have a home game for state.”
The Sailors have been watching tapes on Perrydale, are practicing hard and believe they have a good chance of taking the game.
“We can do it,” Greene said. “The kids are excited about next week, I’m excited. They’ll come out, fired up and ready to go. It’s a great opportunity for our kids. We’ve just got to put it all together and have everybody on the field.”
Kick-off for this Friday’s game at Perrydale is set for 7 p.m.