View from the trenches: grand finale

It is common in football to see a team have a letdown after an emotional loss like the one we suffered in overtime against Hampden-Sydney.

However, had you been at our week of intense practices following that loss, you would have seen a team full of perseverance, tenacity and fight.

Our last game of the season against Emory & Henry was prepared for like a conference championship game.

There was still a chance that we could clinch a share of first place. However, the only way this could secure this opportunity was by defeating the Wasps on their own turf.

We were up to the challenge.

We shined in all aspects of football: offense, defense and special teams.

The offense moved the ball at will throughout the game, the defense made some crucial stops in key situations and our special teams shined in a 52–28 rout.

We celebrated the victory like it was a championship win.

There was cheering, chanting and even some dancing on the field postgame as we celebrated our victories and reflected on our losses throughout the year.

We all returned to the locker room scurrying to check our phones, hoping to see the results of the other games throughout the ODAC.

There in Emory & Henry’s small, cramped visiting locker room, the team erupted as we learned that we had tied for first place in the ODAC.

This year’s senior class came in as first-years and finished their first season at 2–8. In their final season, they went out 8–2 (tied for the best record in Guilford College history).

That is an accomplishment that is truly special and well-deserved by great teammates.

Unfortunately, Hampden-Sydney got the ODAC’s playoff berth due to a tiebreaker.

Despite not playing in the postseason, we held our heads high that day knowing we had accomplished great things.

We are still hungry.

We know what it takes in order to be at the top of the conference and we plan on staying there. Much work lays ahead this offseason.

Having a share of first place is good, but the 2015 season has begun, and it is time for us to be greedy and to take the championship alone.

The first-years, sophomores and juniors will be called upon to take the next step.

Our preparation and quest to become 2015 ODAC champions began the day after the Emory & Henry victory.

Stay tuned. Great things lie ahead.