Late season injuries tough to take

Published 4:17 pm Thursday, October 23, 2008

It never fails. Talk to a coach who’s having a rough season and you’ll hear mention of injuries.

Often it sounds like an excuse for a losing season. But when a team that is one win away from a region championship loses half its starters in three weeks, it becomes a crushing reality.

Such is the case for Montevallo head coach Jim King, who is learning, more than he ever knew, that injuries can cost you a game.

Montevallo opened this season with the mission of “Go that extra degree.” The motto was symbolized with orange towels and T-shirts with the number 212 printed on it for 212-degrees Fahrenheit — the boiling point for water.

The team, school and community bought into the idea.

Take that motivation and community spirit, mix in a crop of talent, and Montevallo was poised for a big season and trip to the playoffs.

However, that all ended three weeks ago. For three straight Fridays, Montevallo suffered injuries late in the game that have killed drives and momentum in three close losses. The first one took away hopes of a first-round playoff game at home, the last one ended any hopes of a playoff run.

It’s not an excuse. When you take one of the top quarterbacks in the county, if not the top quarterback, and drop him to 70-80 percent status and eliminate one of the county’s top receivers, you know you’re forced to run the ball.

When you try that and you lose two top running backs in one night, then you feel your back is against the wall. But it’s OK. There’s still a chance, because one good back remains and the quarterback is still going. Well, when both of those guys go out in the third week, your hands feel tied.

Second to injuries, coaches talk about adversity a good bit, if ever’s a time to overcome it, it’s now in Mo-Town.

At least four players are done for the season, others are taped up and heading back to the field for two more games.

Even though it’s been a rough go, it’s time for the water to boil.