Lincoln players gave it their all

Lincoln players gave it their all

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Lincoln players gave it their all

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This morning, members of the Manitowoc Lincoln football team probably woke up feeling about as bad — maybe even worse — as they did after being eliminated from postseason contention with last night’s 30-27 road loss to De Pere.

That’s assuming they were able to sleep at all.

For members of the team, and even members of the community, a rush to judgment would label the Ships’ season as a disappointment.

Following up Lincoln’s Fox River Classic Conference championship 10-1 season from a year ago by failing to make the playoffs was no one’s expectation, no one’s goal and no one’s hope.

For those players, the sense of falling short will never completely go away.

But in a couple of weeks, a couple of months and a couple of years, this season will be put into perspective, and missing the playoffs will be a footnote to what was likely a fun season to be a part of regardless of its outcome.

The players probably heard that from a lot of people last night. They likely will hear it some this morning.

And they certainly will hear it more and more in the coming weeks.

But the fact of the matter is it’s true — I know from experience.

Back in 2005, my last year of prep football, my teammates and I were in the same scenario as this year’s Ships. We were following one of the best football seasons in school history — an 11-1 finish with the Fox River Valley Conference championship.

We needed to win our final game to make the playoffs. We lost. We missed the postseason.

That night was rough. The morning after worse. The next couple of days were manageable.

But as time passed, and as we got further away from the loss, we were truly able to reflect on more than just that one loss.

We could reflect on the season as a whole, the fun we had, our accomplishments in spite of not achieving the ultimate one, and everything we would take with us from our prep football careers.

And that’s what the Ships, in time, will do, too.

They might have fallen short of what they wanted in terms of the win-loss column, but anyone who has followed the team as closely as the Herald Times Reporter sports department has knows it wasn’t because of a lack of effort.

The Manitowoc Lincoln football players worked hard, gave it their best, and for that, there is no one on that team who shouldn’t be holding their head high, even if it does feel too early to do so.

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