Week 11 – Wildcats Pride: Wildcats versus Ravens
As I write my final article for this season, I have mixed emotions regarding the fact that the team will not move to the finals as I had hoped. The Wildcats defence was superb throughout the year, and the offensive side gained strength and discipline. The passes were crisp, confidence was evident, and the sheer will to win seeing in all the eyes along the sidelines.
As the old sports saying goes, “You can’t win them all.” Unfortunately, for the Wildcats, yesterday was the case. The beginning of the game looked promising as the players seemed ready, everything started working well, and they scored an early touchdown a few minutes into the first quarter, going up 7-0.
However, as the quarter went along, I noticed the Ravens starting to close up the lines, causing the Wildcats’ offence to crumble. The Ravens did not allow any offensive movement from the Wildcats, much like what the Wildcats had done all season against the other teams they beat.
As the game unfolded, Essex began to put their size into effect, smashing the Wildcats’ defensive end. One thing I noticed, aside from the fact that it rained for part of the day, was that the Wildcats were unable to get their footing properly, and Essex began to grind down their defences.
For some time in the first half, the play was always on the Wildcats’ end, and I could hear the screams of those young men on the sidelines yelling “D1 Defense” repeatedly, which seemed to never end.
Another factor was injuries. Player after player on the Wildcats’ side began to fall to injury as the game wore on. With all of this happening, in the end, the Essex Ravens defeated the Cornwall Wildcats 34-10.
After the players congratulated each other on a hard-fought game, I walked over to my nephews to see how they were doing after the loss. It was tough watching one of them struggle with his emotions and was not prepared for the loss, which no one usually is, and I gave him a moment or two to collect his thoughts.
Seeing the faces of these hardworking men, including the coaching staff, taking a loss like this right in the heart was difficult, to say the least.
Saying all this, though, the Wildcats were a team that went 3-3 last season.
In one year, the Wildcats turned the team turned around and managed to put together a 6-0 season. The Wildcats were the first seed in the Eastern Division, with the second-best defensive ranking in the entire league. Their offensive players took the crowns for the best passer and best receiver in the league with two other members of their offensive threat were in the top five.
The team’s defence was magical all season, allowing the second-lowest points in the entire league. Watching each game, you could see the defence doing their jobs and doing everything they could to keep the Wildcats in the hunt when the games got tough.
Even during the Essex game, the defence held them for long periods, keeping the game close enough until Essex began to take over.
The Wildcats organization has much to be proud of this year. You gave your fan base an incredible show for 11 weeks, and unfortunately, you just came up a little short. Being in the top four in the entire province is nothing to slouch over, and a loss against Essex will keep you hungry for the next season to say, “Hey, we were one win away from being in the finals. Let’s see if we can push ourselves over the top.”
As for myself, this experience of writing for the Wildcats has been a memorable one. I’ve learned quite a bit about the organization, the ins and outs, and, most importantly, the players.
By the end of the season, I rhymed off players’ names, their numbers, and the kind of game they brought to the Wildcats, all within a short period.
Thank you for giving me the chance to write, and thank you for putting on this amazing season and giving the fan base hope that next year will be even better than this one.
I’m proud of all of you!
See you next year!