(09/30/2008)
By Gaylen Duskey
realfang@citlink.net

Friday night and for the rest of the season members of the Calhoun football family - coaches, players and fans alike - will answer the question: "What are we made of?"

Two losses have taken the starch out of the sails of the Red Devils. Gone are the dreams of an undefeated season. Gone too is dreams of an LKC championship. But not gone is the future and despite two straight losses it is a future with much promise.

Despite losing two straight the Red Devils are ranked 14th in the state among Class A schools with a rating of 5.0. Winning football games will start the Red Devils back up the playoff ladder and assure the Red Devils a playoff berth. And should the Red Devils run the table they will even get a home playoff game and that's a pretty good future out there waiting.

Let's take a look at the last two games just to put things in perspective.

Calhoun played poorly and was within inches on more than one occasion of scoring and pulling out a come-from-behind victory over Parkersburg Catholic. It didn't happen and that's probably a loss the Red Devils can chalk up to inexperience.

And PCHS isn't that bad a team because it came back the following week and pounded Wirt County, which has playoff hopes too.

Then the Red Devils were pounded by Williamstown. The Red Devils played that game without two senior two-way starters, not that having those two in the lineup would have been enough to beat Williamstown because, after all, the Yellowjackets are the top-ranked team in Class A.

Despite the loss the Red Devils did not lay down against the Yellowjackets. There was no quitting in Calhoun. There weren't a plethora of errors either - either physical or mental. No, what happened was Williamstown played like the top-ranked school it is.

That's two losses and Calhoun is 3-2. At this time last year the Red Devils were 4-1. The difference is the loss at PCHS. So this year's team isn't a dog while last year's was a champion. Quite the contrary . this year's team is as talented as last years. It's just younger and has to look for leadership from younger people.

The redemption of the team - the season's "gut check" - starts Friday night in its homecoming game against South Harrison.

This year's South Harrison team is not as bad as last season's team but this is a very beatable South Harrison team.

For the Red Devils to beat South Harrison they must (1) avoid "homecoming-itis," (2) get the "swagger" back and not act like a team that lost two straight, and (3) play smart football. All three are very doable and doing those things would start the climb up the playoff ladder once again.

Following Friday the Red Devils have very winnable games against Roane, Wirt and Braxton before playing a talented St. Marys team to close the season.

Should Calhoun play to its potential and beat South Harrison, Roane, Wirt and Braxton it will have assured itself a playoff spot making the game at St. Marys for pride and a home playoff game.

The future can be bright. The Red Devils can achieve much.

This is a time for introspection for the team, the coaches and the fans. Now is the time for renewed effort and hard work. It is not the time to give up.

This is the time we find out what the team and the fans are made of.


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