View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 10/14
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
There’s nothing better than ending a losing streak. Whether it’s two games during this season, several games stretching over two years or even the streaks where a team hasn’t won a game in a few years.
Ending those types of streaks are satisfying. Teams change their fortunes and turn a bad feeling into a good one. Usually when you end a streak there is a player or two who were there when the streak started. There is that knowledge of what it was like before and the work it took to end that steak.
There is another kind of streak that can be even more rewarding when you are able to get that big win. When one school holds a winning streak over another and they only play once a year or sometimes every other year it means that streak can last for many years.
Take St. Joseph Lafayette. The Irish hadn’t beaten Chillicothe since 1994. That is a long time for any school to hold the edge. Every year the two would meet and the Hornets would come out on top. Now if you look a little closer you will see the Irish hadn’t won at Chillicothe since 1960.
Let that sink in. John F. Kennedy had yet to be elected president the last time St. Joseph Lafayette walked off the field at Jerry Litton Stadium in Chillicothe with a victory. Of course it wasn’t named Jerry Litton Stadium then because the now late Jerry Litton was still a student at the University of Missouri. He would go on to become a U.S. Congressman and was killed in plane crash in 1976 and the stadium now bears his name.
So it’s been awhile to say the least. The feeling of the players and coaches was summed up nicely by Lafayette Coach Paul Woolard said the win was for more than just the players on the field.
“It was definitely a great win for our boys,” Woolard said to the St. Joseph News Press’s Paul Strum after the game.
“We talked about it before the game, about winning for history. My stepfather (Paul Compton) was coach here; my dad played for Lafayette, and they talked about not being able to win at Chillicothe. This one’s for them. This one’s for coach Marriott. This one’s for coach Compton and coach Bank.
“It’s a great honor to be able to come into this stadium and get the ‘W.’”
Woolard’s words reminded me of the University of Virginia about 20 years ago. When I was in college many of my friends went to UVa and in 1990 the football team was pretty good. They had tied for the ACC title in 1989 and expectations were high the following year. The first conference game of the year saw Clemson come to town. Unfortunately the Cavaliers had never beaten the Tigers in 31 years of playing them.
Needless to say that streak came to an end on a Saturday afternoon in September and in the enthusiasm of the victory the fans had torn down both goal posts with two minutes left in the game. I was at that game and it was an interesting site and trust me, everybody had a good time that night.
Ending that streak was very rewarding to the players and fans just like it was for the Lafayette players, coaches and fans.
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