TIME OUT by Joe Flanagan

Wow, we didn’t see that one coming … or did we?
I believe I was approached at least half-a-dozen times early last week by Cardinal fans experiencing some level of trepidation about Boone Central’s third match-up of the season with conference rival Norfolk Catholic in the C1-8 Sub-District final Thursday.
It’s hard enough to beat a good team twice in one camapign … but three times?
Sure enough, Thursday’s re-rematch was not kind to the Lady Cardinals. Norfolk Catholic 63, Boone Central 49. Thud.
If you follow athletics regularly, you’ve seen these scenarios play out in favor of the earlier loser all too often, in all sports. Boone Central has had numerous experiences in recent years on both sides of the equation. Cardinals well know the glow of revenge and the agony of retaliation.
You wouldn’t think it such a difficult task for teams to take care of business against foes previously mastered. But, something in the mix … familiarity? … possible complacency on one side, added motivation for the other? …  makes defeating a good opponent multiple times a very daunting duty.
So, suddenly, a season is over, short of the ultimate goal. One minute, state tournament dreams intact … several hours later, hopes dashed and hearts broken.
The disappointment is certainly tinged with bitterness and the sour taste will linger for a while. That’s okay. When you pour heart and soul, sweat and blood into attaining a goal, you can’t just brush away the failure as if it were all inconsequential. That would steal meaning from the triumphs.
However, with time, the shattered pieces of dashed dreams can be reassembled and the view they will provide for the Boone Central girls will be one of achievement and pride.
After all, you don’t just brush aside an 18-5 record either. Nor a three-year run of 59-10 with two state tournament appearances. Not to mention previous stellar seasons that paved the path to this level of unprecedented success.
The Boone Central Lady Cardinals have much to celebrate and take pride in. It’s been a thriller of a ride and there’s no reason to think it’s over. Notice a varsity roster losing just three seniors. Highly successful junior varsity and freshman teams. A program committed to success.
Don’t unbuckle the seatbelts just yet.
The Cardinals have entertained and enthralled. Once again, on any given night, they can certainly be considered one of the top ten teams in Class C1.
Unfortunately, they just won’t be one of the eight competing in Lincoln next week.