Fla. team trumps opponent 91-0 with backups

I’m not one to hate on teams that pull off convincing wins — except maybe Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. Why hate on a team that knows how to work together and goes on to win championships? They practice and play hard and it pays off in the end.

There’s no harm in being No. 1. That’s what everyone wants to be right?

Were people hating on the New England Patriots for blowing out their opponents week after week?

Do people accuse Kaua‘i High School’s football team for running up the score every week?

No, they don’t, because there would be no point to doing so.

However, I draw the line at 91-0.

Naples High in Estero, Fla., trampled over Estero High by 13 — as in, 13 touchdowns.

How is that even possible? Is it possible to be that good? Was the other team even there?

I wonder what it was like in the stands. I wonder how the kids felt on the Estero sideline. I wonder what the Naples kids were thinking.

The score was 70-0 at the half. What kind of pep talk does a coach make in that situation?

Pat Hayes, Estero’s defensive line coach, tried to make light of it afterward by saying: “I didn’t even know 91 was a multiple of seven.”

I can see where Hayes was trying to not to be  hard on himself or his players, but I don’t think 91-0 is a laughing matter. True, there’s nothing you can about it once it’s done, but really, 91-0? That’s embarrassing.

Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press reported that winning Naples coach Bill Kramer had an opposite reaction than Hayes’.

Kramer said he “felt sick to his stomach” and that his team only ran 31 plays with the majority of his best players warming the bench. They were on the sidelines watching the whole game go down.

Reynolds reported that shortly after the game, Kramer started receiving angry e-mails. Estero parents asked if scoring so many points was really necessary. Naples parents were asking why their kids didn’t get to play more so they could pad their stats.

Now, that’s just cruel if you ask me. Honestly, Kramer did the right thing by allowing his second, third and fourth stringers to play.

“There’s only one way to describe it,” Kramer said. “Just bizarre.”

Poor Estero head coach Rich Dombroski. It’s his first year with the program and apparently, it’s going through a rebuilding stage. If Kramer’s inbox was being flooded by e-mails, I can only imagine what parents are saying to or thinking of him.

Reportedly, only four of the 1,420 games reported by member schools to the Florida High School Athletic Association this season have seen teams score more than 70 points.

“It was David versus Goliath,” Dombroski said, “and David didn’t have a stone to throw.”

The national record books are incomplete, but a score like 91-0 won’t register a blip on the list of all-time defeats. It wasn’t even the most lopsided score in the country last weekend — in Ohio, Beechcroft beat Centennial 96-0, taking knees on plays in the fourth quarter to avoid triple figures.

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, five teams have scored more than 200 points in a game, with the record believed to be 256 by Haven (Ks.) High in 1927.

Apparently, Naples could have broken that record had it not been for the state-mandated rule that the clock run without stopping throughout the whole second half. That made the game considerably shorter.

When I first read this story Friday afternoon, my thoughts were whether or not there was some kind of rare mercy rule that could be applied here, or maybe one that allowed the officials to keep the game running.

And it turns out Estero did get help in ending the game early and the end result was still that bad.

My heart goes out to the Estero team because I know what it’s like to have a losing football program. After the stars at my high school graduated — Green Run High School still has the record in Virginia for signing the most high school players to Division 1 teams on scholarship in one year; Super Bowl champ Plaxico Burress signed with Michigan State and Cedric Warren went to Florida, to name a few — we Stallions were the laughing stock for a long time. I believe after I graduated, GR had the longest losing streak of the region up until two years ago.

So, yes, I feel your pain. But keep your chins up, kids. When it all comes down to it, it’s just a football game.

Think about it this way, they are the defending state champions and a favorite to repeat. So if you’re going to lose, it might as well be to the overall champions.

• Lanaly Cabalo, sports editor, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com

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