As the clock wound down to 00:00 Nov. 1, I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
The Swede football team’s brilliant season had come to an end, and the final seconds of 17 Swede football careers ticked away.
Coach Craig Haake has lauded this group of seniors throughout the year as his group that gets things done.
They were the leaders of the team, the ones who stepped in, so the coaching staff didn’t have to because it mattered to them how the team performed.
These guys took pride in wearing the maroon and gold, and that pride is what carried this football team to the success they have seen this year.
Since they were freshmen, they have seen the playoffs in each season. They end their Swede careers with a 29-12 record.
When I interviewed the line at the beginning of the season, the senior linemen talked about the effort on the field that it took to be successful.
I predicted many times this season that games would be knuckle-matches, and many times those predictions were wrong. That is what makes me proud of this team.
It tells me that they don’t care what people said about them or what the stats on the paper said. They only cared about what they did on the field as a team and the effort they gave to make it happen.
It is said that when you join a team, you become a part of a family. This football season, the Swede family was strong.
Those guys on the field aren’t just teammates. They are brothers. And on the field of battle, that brotherhood is a force stronger than any team.
Watching them encourage each other when the chips are down and rally when the stakes are high was exciting and gave us all hope for how the season may play out.
When the final seconds ticked off the clock that Friday night, the warriors who went to battle for the Swedes crumbled into each other’s arms. In the face of defeat, they held each other up.
The boys of fall gave us a great ride. While it may take us some time to ease the pain of defeat, we must dig for the pride we have for them and be happy for the tremendous season this team put together.
That same pride they played with every week is the pride we should wear now.
Because we are Swedes.