Because of printing schedules and press deadlines, this column was written before the conclusion of Saturday's final four football game between Sikeston and Warrenton. But the thoughts expressed in this column apply regardless of Saturday's outcome.
Communities large and small rally around a number of issues. And communal pride is expressed in countless ways.
As a community, we have followed with great pride the success of this year's Sikeston High School football season. Even those who have but passing interest in high school sports realize that something very special has happened this year.
If you combine superb athletes with outstanding coaching and then put those two factors together with a well-designed master plan, you stand a good chance at success.
But far too often we measure success by wins and losses. We should change that measurement to character.
This year's high school football squad will surely go down in the record books for their overwhelming success on the field. But by all accounts, this year's team also ranks high in character and class. That should be our true source of pride.
In an era when economic and social changes are sources of concern, this year's football team has nudged that gloom from the headlines and replaced it with a sense of community and pride. And what a welcome relief.
Success breeds success and that applies to football programs and communities alike. When all segments of a community can rally around a common accomplishment, the result is a massive lift in spirit and pride and enthusiasm. And we have this year's football team to thank for that.
Having talked with several super fans who are very close to this year's football program, I'm told that something very special has happened. These student-athletes and their coaches have matured on and off the field. The results speak for themselves.
If the season ended Saturday - despite our grandest hopes and dreams - the impact on this community would remain the same. The character of this team will long linger in our hearts and perhaps teach all of us that uniting behind a common goal and developing an effective game plan can bring results beyond our imagination.
We can all thank this year's SHS football program for teaching us this valuable lesson.