Nothing Hits Harder Than The Finality Of High School Sports

The Washington Post. Getty Images.

I coach a high school lacrosse team. We've been fortunate enough to have some pretty successful seasons. Two years ago we lost in the state semifinals, last year we lost in the state championship, and last night we lost in the state semifinals. Haven't been able to win The Big One™ recently, but still some really great seasons. The reality of the situation is that there's only one group who get to end their high school career by winning that final game of the season. Which means that for the majority of guys out there, the last time you ever play high school sports is in a heartbreaking loss. 

I'd imagine that most people reading this blog right now know the feeling. You grew up your whole life with those guys. They were some of your first friends, and some of your best friends. And when that final whistle blows and it's all over, it hits you like a ton of bricks. It's one of the first times in your life that it finally hits you that you can't get time back. That chapter of your life is over. That group of guys you grew up your entire life playing with will never play another meaningful game together after that. 

Obviously we all get over it in a few days. Nothing a little underage drinking can't take care of. But in that moment? Holy shit does that suck. Put yourself back in that moment for a minute. You just stand there dreading the moment when you finally take that jersey off, because you know you won't get a chance to put it back on again. Time feels like it's standing still with you, but you're now also fully aware that time never stops moving forward. You wish you could get a play back, you wish you could get a game back, but most of all you just wish you had another day with the boys. 

Some of you might have gone on to play a sport at a pretty high level in college. Some of you might have gone on to play a sport at a lower level in college. Some of you may have never played again. Either way, I don't think there's a loss that hits you quite as hard as the one that essentially ends your childhood.