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2 Views: When Argos Win and Lose

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Saturday April 24th brought cheers of victory for the Minor 2 Navy and Major 2 Columbia teams, and emotional and crushing defeats for the Minor 1 White and Major 1 Navy teams.  For those of us who have been a part of the club for the past several years, watching the underdog teams fight hard for their victory was like watching the best of the Argo machine in operation.  Witnessing the heartbreak of our undefeated champions as they took a fall was a hard pill to swallow for the players, coaches and supporting parents on the sidelines.

As parents and coaches here, having experienced winning and losing over the course of our lives, we know that this is not the end of the world, and that defeat in sport is part of the game.  These are teachable moments.  For the parents it is an opportunity to empathize and allow our sons to feel it and move through the pain of loss on an emotional level and for the coaches it is an opportunity to channel that agony into inspiration and motivation moving forward.  Both have happened this week during practice.

There is no sugar coating that the loss for Minors 1 White and Majors 1 Navy was a harsh punch in the gut.  For many of the Argo veterans, this was their first loss across many seasons with the club.   Losing these games  was a reality check for these Champions that the coaches clearly brought to light.  Use this.  Channel this.  Never take for granted that you have fought hard for your undefeated status and if you walk on the field with guard down and ego inflated, then you will surely see defeat like you have seen today.  Notable in both losses, and significant in the lessons of the day for key players, was how the core values of Argo football and pride of sportsmanship fell victim to anger, frustration and a loss of decorum on the field, which clearly pushed the boys down a slippery slope that they had never experienced before.

For the winners here, both Minor Team 2 and Major team 2 stepped onto the field after witnessing their companion team members lose in the game just before their own.  Although the sidelines were heavy hearted Coach Ricardo and Coach Jason were quick to clear the air for the new teams to take the field and focused them on the task at hand.   Even though the club members share a common bond as Argos each team is its own team and each game a new game.  Minors Team 2 took the field against the Grizzlies and gave up only one touchdown to secure a win 12-6, establishing a 2-0 record for the season thus far.  Major2 Columbia faced off against the Regulators and squeezed out a 19-18 victory.

From my vantage point, watching through a long lens and listening with a close ear, seeking and sharing insight into the spirit of our teams, the value of what happens moving forward was best summed up in Coach Jason’s closing huddle speech to the Major 2 Navy team, “This needs to bring us together – not tear us apart”.  GO ARGOS!

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