"Despite defeating rival South Carroll, 39-6, to win the unofficial Carroll County championship, Dallas Dacote #21 of the Westminster Owls shows his emotion because his team lost an appeal which abruptly ended their season, Friday, Nov. 4, 2011, at South Carroll High School in Skyesville, Md."
That's an odd saying - Championship win ends season. Unfortunately for the Westminster Owls high school football team, that's exactly what happen.
On the field, the No. 12 Owls were perfect as they defeated rival South Carroll, 39-6, to win the unofficial Carroll County championship. Off the field was another story.
The Owls coach learned at 3:30 p.m. that he had lost his appeal to the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association to have a forfeit of a 57-7 win over Manchester Valley overturned. The Owls were penalized for using a quarterback for three plays in that week's varsity game after he played in a junior varsity game the same week.
Losing the appeal left no chance for the Owls to advance to next week's regional playoffs - ending their season after an amazing finish in the county championship.
What was honorable, was that the coach said his players did not want to know the outcome of the ruling, so he waited until after the game to tell them.
So in a matter of about five minutes, I saw nothing but joy as the game ended
. Hugs, high-fives and pure happiness. To defeat a rival, one that was perfect against county opponents since 2009 I believe, in the county championship is speical.
But to watch as players and coaches broke down in tears
minutes later after hearing the appeal result is heart-breaking. I cannot imagine the feeling of being punished and stripped of a playoff opportunity for a mistake that the team didn't intentionally commit.
My heart goes out to the team. If nothing else, they ended how I think any athlete would want to - with a win.