Yup, there must have been a little moojic in the air last at Valencia High School. It was perhaps the big showdown for the league title in football against Canyon High School. And since my son is on the Valencia team there is a little more than just a game at stake, it is bragging rights in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Valencia has been the champs the last few years, but they graduated a lot of seniors in the skill positions on offense, but they were returning a fair amount of the defense. Canyon was returning the best skill players in the league.
Now during the summer in the passing leagues Canyon beat Valencia every time they played. And the pre-season polls of the local sports writers had Canyon winning the league championship based off of the returning players and summer performances.
Now I can’t tell you much about the teams that Canyon played prior to last night but they came in undefeated and ranked 2nd in the area. Valencia, on the other hand was only 3-3. They had lost those 3 games to some perennial powers, Notre Dame, Chaminade and the ever powerful Loyola. These are private schools and are not restricted by only getting players that live in the school district. It was one of the hardest pre-season schedules in the area. And just as you might expect with a young offense, they did not score a whole lot of points. The defense kept them in the game.
So, all the local writes had Canyon beating Valencia last night…but it did not happen. And the funny thing was, it was, to the outside fan, perhaps the easiest game of the year so far for Valencia as they won 34-7. And it wasn’t even that close.
And the moogic in the air. Here is a picture of me and the Chick-Fil-A cow at the game. Funny thing…this is one of the best pictures of me I have seen in a while…..I don’t like pictures of me…but there was moogic in the air.
The moral of the story is one we have seen many times over our lives. While you play every game to win, it doesn’t always happen. In Coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success he discusses this very fact. He wanted his players prepared and to give every game their best effort. The winning usually took care of itself, but sometimes the ref could make a bad, call, the ball could take a bad bounce. You could just not shoot right or the other team might have been better. It was all about the effort.
The other point I would like to make is that too often we look at failure as just that failure. But there is also a tremendous opportunity to learn if you look at failure as just not getting the result you wanted and figuring out what you need to change to get the result that you do want. This is something that I try to preach (although I am not perfect and must admit that I have my fair share of failures here as well) to the team at our dental office.
I hope that the young men of the Valencia High football team will remember the lessons that they learned in losing together as a team…and then coming together as a team to not just win, but outplay in every facet of the game, their big rival. And I hope they don’t get over confident and let up in the lesser games that follow. And the league championship can be theirs.
I have to say I am very proud of the way the young men have matured so far this season.