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By JAMES LINE
Special to The Banner
The Trimble County Raiders played their last football game of the season Friday night at Kentucky Country Day School in Louisville, resulting in a disappointing 53-0 loss for Trimble.
Despite KCD’s financial advantages as a private school, Head Coach William Blair encouraged the Raiders before they arrived on the field: “This game is for the most competitive people,” said Blair.
Shortly after kickoff, a KCD Bearcat scored a 43-yard field goal, a record for his school. Both teams energetically pounded each other play after play. Recovering a Bearcat fumble, the Raider defense managed to rein-in KCD’s attack to nothing more than a field goal.
In the second quarter, the Raiders were playing “basically a defensive game” as well, according to junior Raider Aaron Blanton. The Raiders drove hard, with junior Kyle Sparks running a 65-yard kickoff return. With only 0.2 seconds left in the first half however, KCD scored both a touchdown and an extra point.
Coach Blair continued to encourage his team at halftime. “When you earn something, when you take something, you cherish it more.” The odds were in favor of the Bearcats, though, as they chalked up four touchdowns, with five extra points in the third quarter alone. Country Day continued its victorious streak into the last quarter, scoring two more touchdowns and sealing the score as a triumph for the Bearcats.
The loss didn’t seem to matter, though, as the Raiders celebrated the end of a long and memorable season.
“This game showed that we don’t have to have a lot of money to be classy,” said Blair. “Commitment” was the legacy this year’s team left, according to Blair. “They stayed committed even when it was difficult. That’s what it’s all about. Football season isn’t only a few months. It’s a year-long dedication.”
The game was particularly emotional for the Raiders’ two seniors, Josh Baker and Stuart Barnes. Their most important contribution after four years of football, according to Trimble statistician Angela Pacheco, is Barnes’ “wisdom of the game,” combined with Baker’s “enthusiasm” for it.
Remembering this season and all of the ones before it, Baker said, “We lost, but it was a lot of fun. A little emotional, but definitely a lot of fun.”
The old cliché, “Winning isn’t as important as having fun,” found its truth in the hearts of the Trimble County Raiders at the close of the 2011 football season.