Lakeside’s season ends in Jonesboro

By Josh Beavers

Lakeside went down to Jackson Parish and ended its season on a cool early November night.

The Warriors didn’t score. The home standing Jonesboro Tigers did. Final numbers on the board: 46 for the home team and zero for the Webster Parish boys.

One of the benefits of being a small-town news source is that the writers know the community and what the readers, by and large, are interested in. So, I’m not going to write about the game. There’s another avenue if you want a game story about a 46-0 football contest. Our sister Journal, the one based down in Jackson Parish, will publish soon, and I’ll share a link for any interested parties.

This space is going to be used to write a little bit about the attributes of the Warriors who walked off the field for the last time. That’s because it’s for them and their parents and their friends, families, and anyone else who wants to remember their names.

Football is a unique sport. It is doubtful any of those young men will wear shoulder pads or helmets again out on a field of green and under bright stars and brighter Friday night lights.

When they are old and rickety, they can still pick up a basketball and have a shoot around and pull a hammy trying to recapture their lost youth. The same is true for baseball or softball or a lot of other sports.

Not so for football. And in that fact, the sport is unique. It’s over. That’s the truth. Football, for these young men, is over.

So, let’s remember their names and the time they had in the Warrior Red.

The Lakeside senior football players Toby Askew, Koby Mangrum, Tyler Tharpe, Kris Redden, Jaden Miller, Ashton Stewart, Jake Wilkins, J.D. Perrin, Conner Dunfey, Katario Grigsby and Kevin Johnson.

The short of it – these are good guys.

The long of it – these are going to be good men.

Character is not always measurable by profits, successes, or wins on a scoreboard. Drive is not always perceptible to the casual observer. And grit doesn’t always appear as a hardened spartan clad in sun worn leather. Instead, these three attributes – character, drive, grit – can oftentimes be found where many would never look.

We watched these boys play football 11 times this year, when you count scrimmages and jamborees, and in every single occurrence none saw them quit or complain. We never saw cruel or cowardly behavior. We saw sportsmanship.

The scoreboard read 46-0. The win/loss column ended in 3 on the left and 6 on the right.

Yes, the score wasn’t close. But character isn’t measured by a score.

Yes, the stats were lopsided. But drive isn’t measured by numbers on a website.

Yes, most other teams this year, by and large, were bigger, stronger, and faster. But grit isn’t measured by your 40 time nor how many players you have benching over 400 pounds.

Lakeside is striving to grow a winning culture. It has setbacks, but when you grow a winning culture, you celebrate the largely unnoticed. Character, drive, grit. From opening to closing whistle, all season long, the Warriors displayed them all.

This isn’t about moral victories. We’re not talking about moral victories because moral victories are for those who say they want to accomplish something great but are perfectly happy with never getting beyond occasionally coming close. This is about recognizing hard work in the face of adversity. This is about saying those who matter see the character, drive, and grit of those in Warrior red and are here to say we are proud. Nothing great was built in a day. Nothing that lasts was built without a steady foundation. And that’s the thing about solid foundations – they don’t crumble when a storm hits. They don’t crumble when several storms hit.

And that’s what Lakeside has down in South Webster and up the hill. A foundation that can weather the storms. Down big, the boys never quit. Others have. Down big, the boys on the lines pushed, dug their feet into the dirt and fought. Others haven’t.  Down big, the boys on the defense hit hard and the boys on the offense ran and blocked as if the score didn’t matter. Others haven’t.

That’s the thing about character, drive, and grit – the score doesn’t matter. Numbers on an electric board won’t affect the performance or dedication of those possessing them. The successful, the truly great among us, no matter the aspect of life, will give the same amount of effort no matter if they are winning or losing. And that was Lakeside Friday night. Every. Single. Play.

We are aware dreams are not tied to the result of a single life event. No one who built an empire or changed the world did so without losses, setbacks, and frustrations. The thing is with enough work, strategy, dedication, and sacrifice, something great will happen. That’s true in sports and life.

It’s about buying into a bigger picture.

It’s about life by the inch.

It’s about character, drive, grit.

It’s about the Warrior Way.

To report an issue or typo with this articleCLICK HERE