Null and Void
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
That phrase from a much more well-known writer than I is the perfect way to sum up the regular season for our area football teams. When Friday’s game ends for two of the teams in the county, it will be time to turn their attention towards next year, and reflect on the things they learned over this season. At the same time, there will be sadness for the end of a period of time that entailed great sacrifice, a lot of hard work, and a lot of emotion.
For two teams, the second season begins in five short days, with the sub-state round of playoff games. There is little time to reflect on the accomplishments of the regular season, let alone the last game, as the turnaround time for the playoff schedule is necessarily short. Sub-state games are played Wednesday night, Oct. 28, and then take place again the following Monday, Nov. 2. From there on, the games move to the following week, leading up to state finals on the weekend of Nov. 20-21. A game a week, but it just seems like the increase in intensity makes time go that much faster during the playoffs.
Our area volleyball teams have all entered post-season play, working towards their state tournament series that culminates Nov. 11-14 in Cedar Rapids. And, cross country athletes run this afternoon, Thursday, in their District meets, hoping to qualify for the State Cross Country meet in Fort Dodge on Halloween, Oct. 31.
Now I’ll be the first one to object to speeding up the progression of the athletic seasons, but the undeniable fact of the calendar on the wall is that basketball and wrestling are just a few short days away from starting their campaigns for the upcoming winter.
It’s not that I dread the Winter sports seasons – it’s more about the idea of the cold weather and snowfall that accompany those sports. Yes, I’ll admit it, I like cold weather less and less every year, along with the snow that goes along with it. The other factor that I don’t look forward to is the change of time, or the old “Fall Back” to make it dark at 4:30 in the afternoon – that just hits me the wrong way, because when it gets dark, I start thinking about a little recliner action with remote control in hand, and that just doesn’t work at the office that well.
So, lets look at the final regular season game for the E’Hawks.
It’s been an interesting season for Emmetsburg – some wins by big margins, a win by a not-so-big margin and some games where things could have gone a little better than they did, but nevertheless, the E’Hawks are undefeated as they entertain Lake Mills for the regular season finale.
Lake Mills was a young team last year, and nearly every member of that team returns this year to meet up with the E’Hawks. With just one loss in the district, coincidentally to St. Ansgar, there is a possibility of a three-way jumble at the top of the district when Friday night is over. The Bulldogs rely on a punishing rushing attack, with one back who has rushed for over 1,000 yards so far this season.
The E’Hawks can match that easily, with a 1,300 yard rusher of their own and an exceptional line and backfield that present an incredible challenge of who to defend against. You can’t just single out one offensive weapon on the E’Hawk squad, because there are more facing you that can score just as well.
I have to think that Emmetsburg has the advantage as Friday rolls around. Experience is a big part of it, but there is that little matter of E’Hawk Pride, especially as the playoffs roll around. Friday’s game will be an excellent football game for the fans, as well as for the players and coaches. Why? Because at this stage of the season, the games can only be top-notch. Emmetsburg 21, Lake Mills 18.