If there was an award for resiliency in the face of adversity, the Muskie football team would win it hands down.
The squad was forced to forfeit its first game of the WHSFL season against Churchill after Fort High administration, citing safety reasons, said not enough players had attended practice to warrant being ready for action. But rather than throw in the towel, the team stormed back with a 42-0 rout over the Tec Voc Hornets the next week before edging the previously-undefeated Elmwood Giants by a 14-8 score in their home-opener this past Friday.
Currently in a four-way tie for first place in the seven-team Currie Division ('A'), the Muskies clearly have momentum on their side as they next face the Lorette Scorpions there this Friday before closing out their regular-season schedule with a pair home games against the Maples Marauders (Oct. 4) and the St. John's Tigers (Oct. 12).
For a program that has struggled of late, not just in terms of wins on the field but simply getting enough players out each season to keep it afloat, this year's squad deserves kudos for resolutely bouncing back from a potentially fatal blow.
How the Muskies will fare in their next three games, and then the playoffs, remains to be seen. But what the team ends up accomplishing the rest of the season isn't as important as the life lessons the players will take away from it all—lessons like never giving up no matter the obstacles and the necessity of working together to achieve a collective goal.
“We really coming together as a team," head coach Mike Cuzzolino said after Friday's win. "These guys are a real brotherhood.”
Quarterback Brady Meeks took it a step further. “This team, my brothers, give it their all every single play [and] all day at practice," he remarked. "This is the best team I have ever played on by far. I don't know how to sum it all up but these guys are awesome and I love playing with them.”
Whether it's the football team or any of the other Muskie squads, high school sports isn't just about winning championships. It's about growing as a person and developing the character and skills needed to reap success in whatever future endeavours lay ahead.
Equally important, we must thank the coaches—at the high school level and elsewhere—who give of their time to instill the values our young people can carry forward with them throughout their lives.