FORT HALL – The Chiefs have made it to a special point in the season. They have made it to senior night.
This is a big deal for a team that didn’t have enough players to even have a team a year ago and a far cry from teams that at times couldn’t finish a game because of injuries depleting the ranks so much they couldn’t put eight healthy players on the field.
Senior night isn’t about wins or losses, what kind of records some individuals might put up during the season, it is about perseverance. It is about making it to practice each and every day and trying to get better along the way. It is about learning and teaching and being successful at just getting there.
Friday night, the Sho-Ban Chiefs honored their seniors from a football team that probably won’t win a game this year, but they showed up and they fought and they played the game.
These six seniors — Leslie Appenay, Ethan Chacon, Gene Chipewa, Tyray Jim, Joauquin (Kino) Ramos-Yazzie, and Antonio Saiz — will be remembered as the ones who began a new tradition, that of having a team that finished a season.
The game between North Gem and Sho-Ban won’t be remembered for long, when the season is over. Sure, the score will be in the history books as a win for North Gem and you might find the score somewhere in the record books as well as being 54-0 and that it may be the game that propels North Gem to the conference championship, but what should be remembered is the fact that the game was played and that Sho-Ban had six seniors who earned their football letters and helped the team make it through the year.
The loss gave the Chiefs an 0-5 record on the season, 0-2 in conference play and they still have a game remaining, against Clark-Watersprings on Oct. 18 at Clark County. That will be an early game, starting at 3:30 p.m., and the season will be over for the Chiefs. The Chiefs will not likely win that game, but what is important is that they played the whole season and never gave up and can look forward to taking the lessons learned this year forward to next year, when they can start all over again and make the wins and losses count for so much more.