Winning a championship is more involved than just putting players in uniforms and coaches drawing up plays, trying to outwit the opposition.
Sure, you need to have a talented team with good coaching to guide the players down the right path in order to be successful. You need to have the right balance and sense of camaraderie and teamwork strong enough to push egos out the door and focus on one mission.
The Greenwave football team captured the school’s first title last weekend with a thrilling win over Moapa Valley to snap a 37-year streak. But as much of the credit goes to the team, the players and coaches would be the first to tell anyone that this title had many contributors.
“That’s the special thing about saying this hasn’t happened in a while. It’s great for the community,” said Fallon coach Brooke Hill, who quarterbacked the Greenwave during the 1989s. “I’m from here. I’m a Fallon kid. To do that is doubly special but it’s a great community to grow up in and live in. We’re proud to be from there.”
This state championship is for the community of Fallon.
“It’s been a long time for something like this to happen here,” Hill said. “The kids played tremendous. It’s good for our community. It’s good for them. It just feels real good.”
It’s for the thousands of players, parents and coaches who grinded out a season or more of Greenwave football, through both the good and the bad. The many losing seasons, especially in the Division I, kept stacking up until last decade when Fallon showed it could fight with some of the bigger schools.
“When we landed in San Diego, it was very exciting to hear the news that the Greenwave won the state championship,” said Chiefs linebacker Josh Mauga, who played at Fallon 10 years ago and whose younger brother, T.J. intercepted the game’s last play on a lateral. “It’s such a great accomplishment and a well-deserved win for both the coaching staff and players. Way to go Greenwave. Congratulations on a stellar season.”
It’s for the thousands of cheerleaders, band members and drum majors who pumped up the crowd no matter how lopsided the score. It’s for the hundreds of businesses that stayed true to the green and white with their monetary support and pride. It’s for all the students who walked onto the campus. It’s for the journalists who strived to provide coverage about the Greenwave.
“It’s awesome. We did it for the community,” Fallon quarterback Connor Richardson said. “We did it for our family and friends and anyone who supported us. It’s awesome to give it back to them.”
The football team’s first state championship in nearly 40 years is for everyone who was involved with the program and school in one way or another. Without the support — through the winning and especially the losing — the Greenwave would not be where they’re at today, hoisting a state championship plaque that was many years in the making.
Thomas Ranson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.