DHS: A season in the books

Published 11:36 pm Monday, November 24, 2008

Tom Causey met with his coaching staff in the weight room at Memorial Stadium Monday. The group was supposed to have been on the practice field some 100 yards away, preparing its team for a fourth-round playoff game with Vigor.

Instead, they were huddled indoors, discussing what almost was while preparing for a new squad.

“Saturday morning, we were already working on depth charts,” Causey said. “2009 started (Monday). That’s one of the beautiful things about sports is, as soon as one (season) ends, another begins.”

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That season likely cannot start quickly enough for a DHS group that has an offseason to shake loose the bitter memories of an emotional, albeit controversial loss at Carver last Friday night.

The circumstances that mired the conclusion of an otherwise remarkable game were emotionally testing. However, Causey was calm following the loss.

“It wasn’t real difficult. I think God gave me the strength to do that. It was like being punched in the stomach,” Causey said. “I was proud of the way our kids handled it. It hurts to see your season end in such a tough way. Those guys did a real good job of keeping their composure.”

The Tigers ability to not only come from behind twice in the fourth quarter, but also to appropriately cope with the mercurial emotions of the evening are both, in part, products of the emphasis the program has placed on character all season long.

That developing strength of character assisted the Tigers in their rise from a 1-4 start to a seven-game winning streak that ended at Carver. That same character was on display Friday night when Demopolis surged from a 20-7 halftime deficit to take the lead twice in the fourth quarter and put itself in position to win the game.

“Regardless of where their season ended or how their season ended, I’m proud of those jokers for not giving up at any point during our season,” Causey said of his players.

One of the chief contributing factors to the Tigers’ mid-season resurgence was the attitude, work ethic and leadership of its senior class.

“I think what they did was lay a foundation to build a program on,” Causey said of his departing seniors. “I think one of the things they did was they led our guys and taught them how to practice.”