Coaches use game to help players bond

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 4, 2003

No matter what the final score may have read at the end of last night’s game, there is one thing that can be said that no one can take away from the DHS Tigers. They never gave up.

It’s a loss that is hard to swallow for everyone but on the other side of it there is growth. Being a winner isn’t just about what you do as a team on the field but also how you handle yourself off the field as well.

As the game ended and the Tigers headed to the locker room, there were no throwing of chairs or emotional fits among players or coaches. But instead, there was hope and plenty of love, which is not a word tossed around much in football locker rooms.

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Tigers head coach Doug Goodwin gathered his wounded Tigers together in the locker room after last nights 33-27 loss to the 14-0 Trinity Wildcats and with all 48 sets of teary eyes upon him, he shared with them how proud he was. "I could not be any prouder of you than I am at this moment. I could be happier with you, but not any prouder," Goodwin said.

Goodwin knew that these kids could have easily given up many times throughout this rollercoaster of a game. But from what he saw tonight, with the effort they put forward even when things looked hopeless at times, made the loss a little more bearable.

And with that, the tears began to try and the Tigers heads were raised again.

There were plenty of hugs going around the room. Both coach Goodwin and Tigers defensive coordinator Freddie Lawrence personally went to each and every player and thanked them for the sacrifices they had made this year.

Once it was all over with it was easy to see all the strong bonds between players and coaches. And among the saddened young faces there arose a few small smiles, which showed the true heart of this young tigers team and gave promise to better days.

"This is just another hump we have to get over. When I first came here we had trouble getting out of the first round of the playoffs, now we’re to the fourth round. So it’s getting better and are day will come. We will definitely be back," Lawrence said.

The ride may be over with for now but it is clear to see that the future is bright for this fighting Tigers team. "I’m extremely proud of all of them. They fought back and played hard. And that is how I will measure this game and this season," Goodwin said.