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Thanks, Lobos: A surprising season has lessons for all of us

By Longview News-Journal
Dec. 4, 2012 at 11 p.m.


The Longview Lobos football season <a href="http://www.news-journal.com/etvarsity/high_school/turnovers-cost-lobos-in-loss-to-austin-westlake/article_894152e6-671b-549d-8a14-5c994dfd2394.html" target="_blank">ended in the semifinal round</a> of the playoffs, certainly earlier than we or other fans would have preferred.

But the season, which saw the scrappy Lobos overcome obstacle after obstacle, offers us yet another reminder of the lessons high school athletics can teach.

Let your mind drift back to that first game of the year, the one that saw starting quarterback Bivins Caraway suffer a <a href="http://www.news-journal.com/etvarsity/high_school/lobos-caraway-to-miss-rest-of-season-with-torn-acl/article_3ed37019-be17-5567-8fc8-001359c68b61.html" target="_blank">devastating injury</a> that ended his senior season. Some fans assumed the Lobos' playoff hopes went with him - and said so.

But <a href="http://www.news-journal.com/etvarsity/dezmond-chumley/player_208d68ee-019d-11e2-bdb8-001a4bcf887a.html" target="_blank">Dezmond Chumley</a> stepped up, the team re-tooled and it rolled forward to a 9-3 season and the playoffs.

"He had to grow up in a hurry, but there's no doubt what he learned this year will help in the next two," Coach John King said this week of Chumley's sophomore season.

We agree, and think all of us can learn important lessons from the Lobos' season as well.

Chief among them is that winners never give up. It's a fact of life on the athletic field, in the classroom and in life. Certainly, all of us face adversity from time to time. Things don't always go the way we'd planned or hoped. The correct response, the one we saw King employ and his team embody, is to study the situation, make the necessary changes and move forward.

Another lesson is that hard work pays off. Certainly it was more difficult for the team and staff to juggle its game plan. It also had to be tremendously disappointing to be doing it so early in the season. But the Lobos' playoff appearance proves the power of sticking with it.

One more big lesson is the importance of believing you can get it done. Back in those first weeks of the season, imagine how disheartening it must have been for players and coaches to hear the naysayers' negativity about the season's dim prospects. Believe it, and it will almost certainly come true. But remain positive and work hard, and what you accomplish may surprise everyone.

Certainly, it was a difficult season, not at all like the one most of us envisioned. But the Lobos made the best of it, and in the process wound up with some battle-tested young players who will make the team even stronger next year.

We are tremendously proud of the Lobos for giving us a great season of football, and for giving us some important reminders about life along the way.

Thanks, Lobos.

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