Whittell keeps on fighting | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell keeps on fighting

Steve Yingling

Times are rough right now for the winless Whittell High football team, but what’s important is the Warriors aren’t giving up.

That hasn’t been the case for two outmatched prep teams this fall.

On Sept. 6, San Jose Academy walked off the field midway through the third quarter with the Reno Huskies leading, 46-6.

“That’s the strangest deal I’ve ever seen. It was two teams that shouldn’t have played. It ended up not helping us too much,” said Reno coach Brian Rothe.

Two weeks later, Faith Lutheran threw in the towel late in the third quarter as Coleville built an overwhelming 48-0 lead.

Why are these coaches allowing their kids TO quit? Maybe the coach thinks its easier to have his hair cut in town after a 48-0 loss than it is following a 70-0 drubbing.

In any case, it’s an awful example to future adults. If these players are permitted to quit on the gridiron, maybe they’ll quit on their families or jobs someday?

So what if the other team is seven touchdowns ahead. The only way to get better is to leave them out on the field so they can learn from a superior team. Losing builds character, too, and any team that gets thumped 50-0 a few times will want to try harder than the average squad.

Whittell (0-5) has been embarrassed by Manogue 48-12 and Incline 38-0 the past two weekends, but Warrior coach Butch Cattanach has graciously placed the blame on himself.

“When you win, you have great kids. But when you lose, you have (bad) coaching. And right now we have bad coaching. We’ve got to find a way to get these kids to play,” Cattanach said.

Cattanach, who guided the Warriors to the state playoffs last year and narrowly missed a postseason berth in 1995, should be given time to rebuild the team. After all, he has only 15 players, half of whom didn’t have any varsity experience entering the season.

The Warriors have four games left, and they should take pride in playing four quarters the rest of the way. For some, it’ll be the last time they compete on a football field. And 20 years from now, they don’t want to be telling their kids, “Oh, yeah, I remember when I played high school football. We were beaten so soundly, we …”

It’s a story that is best left unfinished. Stay with it Warriors.

— Office banter has quieted down now that the Giants and Dodgers have been eliminated, but the burning question of who will win the National League MVP Award remains.

Dodger loyalists like Mike Piazza because of his unprecedented numbers for a catcher: 40 homers, .362 batting average and 124 RBIs. A great case can also be made for Colorado’s Larry Walker (49 homers, .366 and 130 RBIs).

But Tony Gwynn deserves it most, playing for a loser and still collecting his eighth batting title. Besides his major league-leading .372 average, Gwynn was first in the National League in hits (220), second in doubles (49) and seventh in RBIs (119).

Moreover, I haven’t seen Ted Williams talking to Walker or Piazza about hitting lately.

— If the New York Yankees advance to the American League Championship Series, I hope they don’t bring back the kid who robbed the Orioles of an out and possibly a win in last year’s series. Heroes should follow the rules. The kid interfered with the field of play and should have been escorted out of the stadium.

— Who came up with the home-and-away configuration for the first round of the Major League Baseball playoffs? A first-grader? Not that best-of-five series make any sense, but why was Atlanta, possessor of the best record in baseball, scheduled to play one less home game than Houston, the worst team in the playoffs? Certainly the 162-game regular season should mean something.

— What’s wrong with the USC Trojans? The Trojans trailed UNLV, the NCAA’s ragdoll in 1996, by seven points in the fourth quarter on Saturday in Los Angeles. Even though the Trojans rallied to win 35-21, it’s a performance embarrassing enough to make the Trojan Horse ponder boycotting the Coliseum to watch a re-run of Disney classic, “Gus.”

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