Hunter: CCHS ends its losing ways

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CCHS football team's losing streak finally ended on August 19 with a 26-22 win at home against Community. It was a win the entire Cannon County athletic program and supporters can be proud of. However, I need to make a confession before we go any further.

I had to leave at halftime because of a personal health issue. Do not worry, everything is fine, but I feel really bad for missing the excellent second half comeback by the Lions. I do not want you guys to think, I only cover the team when they lose like going 0-10 in 2015. I actually prayed and believed last week leading up to the game the Lions were going to win for the first time since October 2014 and snap the 12-game losing streak.

So as punishment for my absence, the CCHS football coaches gave me two choices. (A) I leave at halftime of every game this season because players and coaches are very superstitious. That could mean the Lions could go 10-0 and win the state championship which would be a classic worst to first.

Then there's (B.) We get an actual real-life Lion from the Nashville Zoo and at halftime of a future CCHS home game this season I will dress up like a Pokemon and the Lion will chase me around like a zebra for dinner. I bet the students and fans will like that better because Pokemon is popular again. Not to mention that I am just a know-it-all reporter who needs to get knocked down a few pegs.

What do you think I should do as punishment? Personally, I must rather run up and down the stadium steps at 5 a.m. with the coaches yelling not very family friendly words at me, which I deserve.

Anyway, enough about me, the real story was walking into the fieldhouse last Monday before practice and seeing the student-athletes excitement after a win for the first time in a long time.

Unlike some reporters who only focus on the negative, I much rather interview winners like I did with two of the many heroes of the win, senior lineman Maika Fonoti and senior wideout and cornerback Quentin McMackins.

"I was just filled with joy," Fonoti said before practice last week. "We really deserved this, because we had been working hard all summer. I believed we really deserved this win."

McMackins added, "It did exactly what it was supposed to do, and that was to shock the district. We were all shocked, and we put in the work for it. We got what we deserved."

Now, the Lions hope to make it two wins in a row against Jackson County. A win would put CCHS 2-0 for the first time since 1998. Back then, the Lions opened up with an 8-7 win over Taft on August 21, 1998, and they followed it up with a 23-0 victory over Lighthouse Christian School of Nashville 23-0. The Lions would finish 3-7 during the season. Of course, times have changed since then.

The Lions players do not remember 1998 because they hadn't been born. Current head coach T.J. Daniel was in seventh grade, and I was a sophomore at Murfreesboro Oakland that year. The Pats finished up as state champions, including a win over hated rival Riverdale in the quarterfinals for the first time in a long time in front of a legit 25,000 to 30,000 fans at MTSU's Floyd Stadium.

As with players and coaches in all sports, they are just worried about the next game. They are not worried all of the extra stuff.

"We just got to work hard in practice, and work together," Fonoti said. "Coming from the past few years that I have been at this program, we have not had the best of luck at keeping a winning streak going. We just try to focus on one thing at a time."

"It is going to take a lot of hard work this week," McMackins added, "We've got to clear that win out of our head. The win means a lot, but there is definitely more to come. We all will be ready."

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David Hunter column
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