The stories of Hillcrest Football's 2014 season always begin with the word diligence. Summer weight-lifting carried many players to the summer football camp. After battling mosquitos and learning new plays, the Comets were well on their way to a memorable season.
As students drew in from around the world to play football in the fall, it was easy to see that students were joining to do more than carry the pigskin. Meeting for early morning running, lifting after practices and gathering in the locker-room to look through plays gave a quick glimpse to how the Comets would end their time together. They gathered to work.
Following a quick three-win start, the Comets traveled to Verndale to face the toughest team in mid-west Minnesota. Battling state ranked Verndale, finishing three-scores short of the win, drove the Comets back together. Developing more depth in character and forging new drive, the Comets' game plan led them to a hard-fought win over Ortonville, leaving them with a four-win and one-loss record. They accomplished a common goal.
As the Comets closed their season with two losses, falling out of playoffs in a home battle, many were left looking at statistics. But the Comet Football team didn't make their goals known by their statistics. Instead, judging by the type of team they were on and off the field, the Comets' goals lay more in character development than leading the conference in individual statistics. Accolades aren't enough for them.
The Comets close their season hearing classmates note that they worked hard together, they grew together as a team, and they achieved their goals. But one of the most defining characteristics of the 2014 football team is their resiliency in retaining who they are. After hard hits they would check their helmet snaps and reach to help their opponent. Shouting, "Good Game!" to a Comet was often met with, "Thanks!" Walking the hallways on game days saw a sea of Comet jerseys, usually connecting with some Junior High students or working with an international group on a test for next period. The Comets aren't defined by their record, they made that clear at the start of the season. They want to be judged on their diligence, and they haven't been found wanting in that category this year.