Archived Story

Sweet sound of victory

Published 9:34am Wednesday, October 17, 2012

As a general rule, we don’t devote much space on our Opinion page to sports.

Sometimes, when athletics are the platform through which an individual makes a greater societal impact, we will depart from that rule. Such an editorial appeared one year ago (“Proud of Mina Johnson,” Oct. 15) when she made the Southampton Academy junior varsity football team, but decided to sit out a game to keep the opposing team from forfeiting.

Other times, the magnitude of the athletic accomplishment alone is worthy of mention and commendation. Such as when the Southampton Academy football team traveled to Raleigh on Friday and pulled out a win that was as dramatic as it was significant.

You see, it’s not every day that a football team moves the ball 74 yards in two plays with 16 seconds left in the game to beat a very tough opponent.

It’s even more rare when that opponent is Word of God Christian Academy, which last year beat SA 50-12 at Pillow Field in Courtland, had gone 35 games without a loss and won state titles the last three years.

Yet that is exactly what the Raiders did.

Many find football, in many ways, to be a metaphor for life. It’s a difficult thing, both in sports and in life, to face down an opponent who has so soundly defeated you and yet maintain with courage the conviction that this time you will come out on top. Yet in ways that many sports don’t, football provides its players the opportunity to do just that.

In an interview with The Tidewater News earlier this month, Raiders’ Head Football Coach Dale Marks was quoted, “Football teaches a young man as much about growing up and what he is going to have to face in life as any sport going. Football is a tough sport, played by tough individuals, under tough circumstances and that is life too. You have setbacks, you get knocked down, you get up and you gotta keep going.”

And that, too, is exactly what the Raiders did.

  • handkusp45

    If I had children in school now I would seriously look at private or home school. The public school system is failing and it is affecting the entire community in many ways. I don’t know what the answer is but something must be done.

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  • SIFan

    With all the negative press about the local public schools and the educations received at them, many parents in this area need to take a look at the opportunities offered at SA. I know there are many kids in the area that want to learn and are not afforded the chance they need in public school due to governments interference and many other factors. At Southampton Academy that i not the case at all, your childs education is job #1! I have seen firsthand how the entire staff at SA is dedicated to assuring that every child gets what he/she needs to be successful, not just survive! The system is broken at public schools but at SA the system has proven itself over & over again. That is what school is supposed to be about…and then you have the family atmosphere that is fostered at SA. Its a winning solution to the problems written about in the TN over the last few weeks! After that comes the sports. Not only is Marks a GREAT athletic director but an awesome mentor to the kids at Southampton Academy. Kudos to you Coach!! Every parent who truly cares about their childs education and happiness should rush over to Courtland and see it for themselves!!

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  • billyboy

    Kudos to Dale Marks and his staff!! Dale is the best coach in the area who seldom gets much recognition for it!! He makes men out of his kids and teaches them lessons about LIFE, in addition to being a great coach.SA is indeed fortunate to have him as a teacher and as a mentor to these young men.He also has great kids to work with!! Great coach, great kids, great school…..doesen’t get much better than that!!

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