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Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

Season ending loss stings, but it was still a great year

Monday, November 5, 2012

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While a large majority of Dyersburg football supporters spent the last four or five days questioning why the Trojans failed to get a home game after finishing the regular season with a 9-1 mark, chances are it didn't really matter, especially if the opponent would have been Trezevant.

Sure, playing at J.C. Sawyers stadium would have been a nice and deserving reward for the squad after such a remarkable run that resulted in a No.8 state-ranking as well as an 8-game winning streak to end the regular season.

However, chances are it wouldn't have mattered where the first round state playoff game was played, Trezevant was going to advance.

Maybe the score wouldn't have been 26-0. Perhaps the final total would have not looked so bad, but in the end the opinion here is that the result would have been the same.

The fact that Dyersburg simply got outplayed by a better football team -- at least the Bears certainly were on Friday -- does nothing to take away from the accomplishments made throughout a very successful 2012 campaign by the Trojans.

While standing on the sideline on Friday as the game got underway, immediately it appeared the Bears were faster and more physical. A Dyersburg offensive line that opened holes for running backs all year long was suddenly on their heels and not very effective.

It wasn't due to lack of effort and it wasn't because the kids didn't play their hearts out. The reason they were somewhat subdued was because of a tenacious defensive effort from a talented Trezevant defense that refused to give up much of anything at all throughout the game.

The contest, at least through these eyes, mirrored the second game of the season against Covington, a game that just happened to be the other loss of the season. Trezevant and Dyersburg battled, and while the Trojan offense sputtered for the most part, the Black and Gold defense stood strong and made the plays necessary to make the first half an instant classic between two teams that really shouldn't have even been playing each other.

I really didn't intend on today being about how good the Trezevant team was, for no other reason than I really thought Dyersburg was going to win. There are no excuses to be made for feeling that way, but sometimes there are other teams that are just simply better.

On Friday at least, Trezevant was better, quite a bit better.

While I certainly believe the game was closer than the final score indicated, at the same time if not for an outstanding first half by the Trojan defense, this one would have ended a lot worse and been a terrible way to end the season.

Though losing 26-0 and being shutout for the first time this season is a hard pill to swallow because there is no next week to rebound from the loss, the city of Dyersburg should be proud of its football team.

No one, especially me, expected the team to finish 9-2. With the loss of 22 seniors off a squad that finished 8-3 a year ago, my expectations were somewhere around 6-4 or even 5-5.

The squad accomplished what they did because they bought what the coaching staff was selling. They worked hard, sometimes harder than I think any team Bart Stowe has had since he arrived in Dyersburg. They believed in the coaches, but more importantly they believed in themselves.

Unfortunately, the Trojans ran into an underrated Trezevant team that has all the tools to make a serious run at a state title. Yes, the Bears are that good and stand a chance of playing for it all in three or four weeks.

Last but certainly not least, it wouldn't be fair not to tip my hat to the Dyersburg fans. As I stood watching the game, turning around to get a glimpse of the crowd, I was amazed. Though not a speed counter, I would guess that there were close to 500 fans that made the trip to Memphis.

Though the trip home was probably a lot quieter in some cases than the drive to get there, the supporters showed up in large numbers. When the score was still 0-0 in the first half, I felt something I hadn't in four or five years.

It was evident, and there was no mistake about the fact that Dyersburg football is back. Now some will say it never left, but I know better and so do they.

The 2012 Trojan team has provided its fans with plenty to cheer about. They've given football fans something to talk about too, and while the final ending to the season may hurt right now, before you know it the time will arrive to begin another season.

Your comments are welcome at msmith@stategazette.com



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