No one on Navarre’s football team will ever forget the painful ending to last season.
The 23-22 double-overtime loss to Tate in the opening round of the playoffs will forever be stored somewhere in the memory banks of the players. It also serves as motivation for the Raiders as they engage in spring practice.
“Last year, we lost by a point. That is how close we were to advancing to the next round,” linebacker Xavier Fernandez said. “It just makes us work even harder this year.”
Navarre worked pretty hard last year as well, putting together the first perfect regular season in school history. But the playoff loss to the Aggies dashed the Raiders’ hopes of the program’s first state title and head coach Jay Walls reminds his players of it.
“We have unfinished business,” Walls said. “We’ve used that as a motivator in the offseason and we are using it in the spring.”
At the same time, Walls points out last year was successful despite what happened in the postseason.
“We had a great year last year,” Walls said. “Our kids did an outstanding job. Our seniors were part of one of the winningest classes and we are going to miss those guys. But we are motivated to be the best ever at Navarre. It’s the same thing I told the team last year.”
Fernandez is one of the returning players and will be a senior in the fall. He is determined to get better in spring practice and provide leadership as well.
“I want to be the best leader I can be,” Fernandez said. “We want to make the most of our time in the spring to get better as a team.”
Read more in the May 5 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.