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Chillin' with Dylan—The agony of a lot of defeats

January 23, 2014

By DYLAN MALONE
    You can see it on their faces.
    The Bellmont girls basketball team has had a tough season and it wears on everybody.
    Losing, in all things and not just sports, is just an awful thing in life. Some people lose their entire lives and never really know what it feels like to win.
    I for one think that there is a sliver of good in all of this. No, I’m not rooting for a winless season for Bellmont girls basketball. I am, however, an optimist in thinking that these girls are building a ton of character on the court whether they realize it or not.
    Nobody wants to be the “Bad News Bears” in high school. The old adage is that somebody has to lose but I think that maybe that line of thinking should be followed up with... “but not necessarily every game.”
    It’ll be a tough sledding towards the end of the season but I don’t think it matters that they haven’t won a game. They’ll go on. They’ll graduate and do the great things they would have done if they would have been 20-0.
    It’s all relative in the long run.
    I suppose that means that my job as a sports editor in following the exploits of these kids is next to meaningless, but I prefer to think that I’m watching them grow up.
    I know for darn sure that when they were beaten by Garrett the other night that they were a completely different team than they were in the beginning of the season.
    The score would have been even uglier and there would have been no fire whatsoever in the eyes of those basketball players but they fought tooth and nail down to the buzzer no matter who was in the game.
    Emotionally it can be wearing on those girls continually losing and I’m not sure what coach Heim has to say to constantly motivate his team to get out on that court every night. Whatever he said before they played the Railroaders was a good, positive message, though. At least it seemed like it by the way the girls responded out of the gate.
    Let’s be real, here. Garrett is a great basketball team. They have steam-rolled just about everyone they’ve faced this season but something about holding them to just 48 points was gratifying to watch.
    A division I athlete in the making, Brandi Dawson leads Garrett’s history books as the leading scorer of all time.
    On Tuesday night she looked frustrated, though. That was all Bellmont displaying a bit of heart on the basketball court.
    No, it’s never easy being beaten by a superior team, but I truly think that with that mentality it should be at least entertaining to watch every night. I haven’t seen that all season long but lately it’s been showing up and I’d like to see them finish the season strong with or without a win.
    That kind of character will hold more water than a winless season ever will. Hopefully this builds these girls to strive harder for what they want. Even further down the road I hope that these younger girls, even the ones already in high school on the team, will see how this season looks and feels and motivate themselves to never have a season like it again.
    That’s the difference between schools who have “down years” and schools who have “down programs”. If you don’t believe me, girls, ask the wrestling team or any of its coaches. Ask some of your fellow female athletes who won a regional title on the volleyball court this fall.
    Nothing any coach or parent or over-zealous sports writer says will make any difference when it comes to playing with heart on the basketball court. That has to be a decision made by each individual out there putting it on the line when they dive for a loose ball or put in that little extra effort to get their hand on an offensive rebound.
    I was encouraged to see that kind of heart on display, at least in the first half, against Garrett on Tuesday night.
    Nobody would think anything bad about these girls for giving up on a disastrous season but what should stick firmly in their minds will be how they think of themselves if they do.
    It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Sorry, parents. The girls are the ones on the court getting beat every night. They are the ones who can respond positively despite the down season, especially the girls who will be returning next season.
    For those people out there who may have experienced a similar type of losing season in any sport can attest to that horrible feeling and how you just want it to go away. It’ll boil down to what the girls want to do about it.
    It better be a heck of an off-season in the gym!

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