We can finally exhale. To a person and player, not a peep about the stadium fire and how it affected the team. We don’t complain, even though it’s been going on two full years now.
What we saw this year from the Bulldog football program was nothing less than 100 percent — not to take a thing away from the championship team last year. Not a thing.
The 2013 Montesano Bulldog football program was a master’s class in leadership training. The seniors this year, the bulk of the team, never were able to run on to their own field and the history that envelops it. They were never able to look over at the stands and see their friends and family. Certainly, they were present over the last two years on the road. But it isn’t really the same.
This was not a championship year and a return to the Tacoma Dome, yet it was equally successful. At the heart of the program is the coaching staff led by the chessmaster himself, Terry Jensen, and many other coaches. Did they teach the fundamentals of the game? Sure. We were even able to have a winning season this year and go to state. Something else was as work as well.
We, as adults, always wonder where the next generation of leaders come from. “These kids today…” is a common expression. As far as Montesano is concerned, look to the 2012-2013 group of players and the adversity under which they excelled.
Life doesn’t always go the way you want it to. Things will never be fair. What makes an individual strong and instills leadership is adversity and learning to deal with it. I believe we are a lucky town to have these young men in it. They are future leaders in any field they choose. For those of us who follow the program, we will always remember these last two years as being not the dark stadium-less time, but one in which Montesano excelled. They excelled because of a group of kids who became men and showed us all what real toughness is about.
There is no doubt in my mind that should the new stadium start to fall behind, the school Superintendent himself will be out there with a shovel all spring. Next year, things will go back to normal.
For now, though, a personal thank-you to the school, coaching staff, and players that are the Montesano High School Bulldog Football program. From those of us who have bled on that field, and the little Bulldogs with wide eyes growing up to the sight, sound and pageantry — dreaming of their own entrance onto that hallowed dirt — well done. Well Done.
Tom Frederiksen grew up in Montesano and lives here today with an active blog at montesanotoday.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.