By DARRIN SMITH
What a week in sports for our local schools! The Bulldogs and Indians both defended their home turfs successfully in round one of the state tournament, and both schools’ cheerleading squads finished state in third place. Not too shabby for a small little place nestled in the Northwestern Georgia mountains. Then consider that both football teams won by just a single point in their games, and the excitement level just went through the roof.
Chattooga won, in part, thanks to a blocked extra point on Washington’s opening drive score. Trion won with a blocked field goal as time expired. How much more dramatic could it get? The Indians ended their game in the victory formation sitting at the Washington three-yard line as time expired. I think the move to take a knee showed a lot of class on the part of Coach Hammon and his team, and don’t know very many teams that wouldn’t have punched one in considering it was such a close game. Especially considering some pre-game shenanigans by the visiting Bulldogs.
The Washington Bulldogs arrived several hours before game time and spent that extra time getting used to the Chattooga grass field. Most of their games had been played on turf, and a rain-soaked grass field was out of the norm. The shenanigans came when a group of Bulldogs brought out a sledgehammer to mid-field to apparently signify they had come to break the Indians. Those same players then began using their cleats to destroy the Indians logo. It was a punk move in my book.
Thankfully, karma had its turn with the visiting team and the Indians sent them home crushed. To add insult to injury, the Washington buses took a wrong turn down Hwy. 100 and ended up stuck in a yard for over an hour. Karma has a way of rewarding bad behavior badly. I’m sure Coach Hammon was aware of what took place before the game, yet he kneeled to finish the game anyway. Kudos to you Coach!
On Saturday, I saw another display of karma having her way. April and I attended the Georgia Tech vs. Miami game at Bobby Dodd Stadium. I absolutely love a night game in Atlanta. Whether you like Tech or not, it is a must-see venue at night. With all the skyscrapers lit up over the stands its quite the spectacle. The karma part came when the Yellow Jackets were taking the field and the Hurricanes rushed the entrance through the cheerleaders and crowd to get in the way of players as they entered. I’m not sure what they were trying to prove but it was extremely disrespectful. If anger from players and crowd were what they wanted, it was what they got.
The opening show of disrespect set the tone for the game, which was very chippy from start to finish. Karma was on hand however as the Hurricanes were defeated and sent home to Florida with another loss on their record. I have to believe the opening display fired up Yellow Jackets in the stands and on the field, which contributed to the loss.
For the life of me I just can’t figure out what drives teams to do things like that. What point does it serve? If they win, it doesn’t add anything to the win; and, if they lose, it makes them look like morons. It highlights that a team doesn’t have any discipline and reflects very poorly on the coaches, players, fans, school, and community. Why would any team want to look like a bunch of punks? I don’t get it!
Thankfully, I have not seen either of our schools act this way and hopefully will never see it. We have been represented with class winning or losing and I, for one, am very thankful and proud for it.
It’s just a thought but one worth thinking.
By DARRIN SMITH