Beating Bearcats no big surprise

Last Friday’s win at Monroe in the first WesCo North football game of the season was a big confidence builder for the young Wildcats.

Those of you who attended the game could see the change in the players’ demeanor after Stephen Lewis scored with 12 seconds remaining in the third quarter to put Oak Harbor up by two touchdowns.

All of a sudden there was a spring in the step of the lads wearing the purple and gold and a light in their eyes. At that moment, they were no longer a team that was supposed to be in a rebuilding season under the direction of a new head coach. They knew they were were on their way to knocking off a team that had a whole bunch of returning senior starters on the roster.

I had no doubt in my mind the Wildcats were going to win the game from the time they took the field for pre-game warmups. Still, victory was a real treat to see.

On that topic, I was a little disappointed in the number Oak Harbor fans who drove up for the game. The stands on the visitor’s side of the field sure could have had a lot more Wildcat fans than they did.

I know some of you folks are saying the price of gas is high these days and that was the reason for not making the trip but hey, it’s time for a reality check by all you Oak Harbor football fans and an opportunity to be honest with yourselves.

Be truthful now, some of you thought the Wildcats didn’t have a chance and 2008 could be an 0-9 year instead of the other way around like it’s been in previous seasons.

Boy, were you guys ever wrong!

Mark my words, Oak Harbor is going to be a contender this year and the team is gaining confidence every time they step on the field.

Ask anyone who watched the purple and gold beat the Bearcats Friday night.

Those of you fair weather football fans who stayed at home, shame on you. You missed a pretty doggone good game and Jay Turner’s first victory as head coach.

Game, set, match

Speaking about teams that are winning these days, how about those Oak Harbor tennis players?

For three seasons I’ve reported on the fortunes of the boys team. During that time, the guys have kind of struggled along, winning a few here and losing more there, despite the expert coaching of Horace Mells.

Mells has battled a lot of adversity in his 10 years at the helm of the Wildcats and not long ago, some misguided people were clamoring for his head to be served up on a plate and that the Wildcats should be seeking another head coach to mentor the team.

Big mistake!

The coach and his players have kept the faith, kept working hard and never gave up.

All the time spent perfecting serves and volleys until players’ arms were so sore they couldn’t lift them to comb their hair while their feet became nothing but a mass of blisters has paid off.

Oak Harbor has four solid singles players on the team who are collectively 17-3 in matches this season.

The quartet might not be ready for Wimbledon quite yet or to step on the courts at Forest Hills (for all you aficionados of United States tennis from back in the day), but watch out for the Oak Harbor singles players in the WesCo North district championships later next month.

I have a feeling a few Whidbey Islanders are going to be in for a big surprise.

Who knows, maybe the success of the high school team will give Fred Henninger and his cohorts another shot at convincing people in Oak Harbor that we really do need indoor tennis courts.

Sure would be nice for good players to get even better by being able to practice year-round.

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