I have to say that, while I love covering sports at the local level, the end of each season when the teams are playing at their peak and are gearing up for the playoffs is my favorite time of each season.
Sometimes it is heartbreaking – as in the case of cross country runner Shaylin Curtis who had worked for her entire high school running career to get incrementally better each day, hoping to have it culminate in a trip to the OSAA state championships, only to have an injury prevent her from running her best.
Sometimes it is heartwarming – watching members of the girls soccer team celebrate their first trip beyond the OSAA play-in rounds, and watching coach Fred Juarez tear up as he talked about having the team finally make it to the playoffs.
Sometimes it is confusing – with the way the football team’s season went, it was a wonder to me, to many of the players and a number of coaches that they made a play-in game as a fourth-place team with a league record of 2-3.
Of course, it might have something to do with the fact that three of the 16 teams in the first round of the playoffs are from the Far West League – most of any league – and our three losses were at the hands of those highly ranked teams.
And then sometimes, deep in the heart, it feels right – with the way the boys soccer team is playing right now, it could be state champion bound. It won’t be an easy road, with the way the team was seeded in the playoff bracket, but if they pass the way they did in the second half of the game against La Grande and keep their composure, the trophy could be firmly ensconced in the trophy case at Brookings-Harbor High School and they could be Hall of Fame bound.
Regardless of how either the girls or boys soccer team does in the playoffs it is obvious that both teams have the love and support of a community well versed in how to support its team.