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By Jesse Utz 

The games go on

 


When John Elway retired, the Broncos did not close down Mile High Stadium and go home; they came back and gave it all they could the next year. When Michael Jordan left the Bulls, the rest of the team did not quit and refuse to play the next year. When Pat Riley hung up his whistle, the team still had a mission to contend for. This week we got news that the popular Head Coach of Raider Football is taking a position elsewhere.

This column is not for most of you. This column is directed at the Lake Roosevelt Football players. Coach Endsley was not the heart of Raider Football. You are. Yes, he was good at motivating you and making you work really hard for what you wanted. But you did the work. You sweated, bled and pained for every bit of success you earned. He was with you, yes, but there were others that have paid just as much, if not more, into you as a student, athlete and son/daughter.

Let’s not forget the Little Guy Football Program. You are the results of teaching the basics of a sport at a young age. You come to high school football more prepared to play than any other footballers before you. Those who put in the time then are seeing the payoff now. This program was the beginning of placing you in the best position to win now.

Let’s also not forget your parents. They are doing, and will again do, everything they can for you to succeed. They will step up and motivate you to study, workout, learn plays and practice. They have already traveled the country to watch and support you, and they will continue. They are your backbone in whatever you do. They will support you in every win and every loss. No matter the final score, they’ve got your back.

We must also remember the former coaches. Middle school coaches who formulated you and gave you a jump start on what the HS program is doing. They poured into you as well.

We also must not forget that the now ex-coach of Raider Football was only head coach for one year. Yes, he was great at pulling the most out of some of you, but you already had what it takes to win. It has been building for years on a foundation of everything I mentioned above. Don’t sell yourself short. You won those games, you lifted those weights, you ran off those pounds, you memorized those plays and you were the success story.

When the time comes, yes, there will be a new head coach at Lake Roosevelt. This person will have new ideas and a different way of doing things. But the team is still there. The kids who impressed us all the past few years are still here. You are the same bunch of winners no matter who the head coach is. Yes, there will be new things to learn and things will change, and you will have to buy into this new system too. But you are still the team that did some outstanding things last year. Do not lower your head at all. Keep working hard, strive to be even better than last year, and it will come. This whole area is always behind you.

Just like with other championship teams that lose a key member the next year, you must press on. Show them what you can do. Work harder than ever and show them what Raider Pride really is. I am behind you, and whoever the new coach is will be too. Go show them what the heart of Raider Football really is.

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