A big bowl of kudos to the West Carroll War Eagles.
As I write these words on Sunday, you guys were the last team standing out of all our local basketball teams, and you were due to play in the first round of the state tournament Wednesday afternoon at MTSU’s Murphy Center in Murfreesboro.
First off, let me humbly apologize for the misinformation I put there on the front page of last week’s News-Leader. This is not the first time that a West Carroll boys basketball team has won sectionals and gone on to state. The War Eagles did it in back-to-back years in 1995 and 1996, and they made it as far as the second round both years.
Sorry about that. But in my own defense, I did get some misleading information from an official school source. Still, a mistake is a mistake, and I own it.
But enough about me and my many imperfections. How about those War Eagles?
I’ve had the privilege of watching this team play through most of their postseason contests, and I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve seen. They truly play as a unit, and while they’ve got some outstanding individual athletes, any of whom can get hot and take a leading role at any point of a game, I haven’t seen anything that looked like big egos getting in the way of the team effort.
And they’ve shown that they can hang in there and pull it out against an equally good team. Their region semifinal win over Summertown in double overtime was a clear example of that. And they’re certainly going to need that die-hard spirit and persistent faith in themselves while going up against the other top Class A teams in the state.
Every good crew needs a good captain at the helm, and the War Eagles definitely have that in head coach Jason Fitch. He may not be as outwardly emotional as some coaches are during games, but I think that’s a good thing. A coach who can stay cool and controlled under pressure models that to the team and gives them incentive to do the same.
So all luck and good fortune to Coach Fitch and his War Eagles during their time in the ‘Boro.
And as someone who’s watched a lot of basketball games over the years, luck and chance are always a factor, especially in really close contests. An unfortunate roll or bounce off the rim, a freak shot from half-court, a ref’s call one way or the other – stuff like that and a thousand other things can make the difference between a win or loss.
But I’ve got faith in you guys, and I believe you’ve got what it takes to go all the way.
And unless my car breaks down somewhere between here and Murfreesboro, I plan to be there watching, taking photos, and rooting you on.