By Rick Lanier
Opelika Observer

Thursday night’s 28-0 loss to St. Ann-Pacelli (Columbus, GA) closed the book on the high school careers of 12 graduating seniors who played their final high school football game and with a puff of the cheeks brought an end to another Hornet football season, one like we have never witnessed before.

A month from now, no one will likely remember the wins and losses of football in 2020. Instead, they will remember the leadership and guidance displayed by the Governor of our great state, the Alabama High School Athletics Association, the Alabama Football Coaches Association, school superintendents, principals, teachers and the parents whose dedication made possible a season at all.

Yes things would be different, certainly for those high schools that chose to participate in fall sports. There were different practice rules and regulations, different player/coach interactions, different pre-game, in-game and post-game protocols and norms, and they were not just different for the players and coaches, but for the bands, concessioners and spectators alike.

Recall that this past March we faced far more questions than we had answers for—the entire world was in flux. As a result, this season proved so abnormal and so different that it deserves an asterisk beside it in the books of Alabama high school football history denoting the sheer magnitude of the first, and hopefully last, season of the COVID-19 era.

To be clear, Beauregard’s 2020 campaign was going to be challenging, COVID or no COVID. Like 2019’s, this year’s group of young Hornets lacked depth at key positions, and more so than last year, the coaching staff was relegated to playing the majority of this year’s senior class on both sides of the ball to offset that experience gap. Did it affect this year’s outcome? Absolutely, on many levels, but the good news is that the trial by fire for these underclassmen should pay hefty dividends in the 2021 season.

A review of MAXPREPS website shows that Beauregard finished sixth in the Alabama 5A Region 4 standings with a 3-7 overall record, split as follows: 2-4 in region, 1-3 out of region, 3-2 away and 0-5 at home.

It also shows that the Hornets scored a total of 166 points, for a 16.6 point average per game, while giving up a total of 336 points for a 33.6 point average per game.

And finally, Beauregard enjoyed its best success in the fourth quarter, scoring 79 total points (7.9 avg.), and struggled the most in the third quarter, only managing 20 total points (2.0 avg.).

A recap of the Hornets’ season, from a simple numbers or statistical viewpoint, without a doubt falls short of the tangible expectations of the team and coaching staff. However, if COVID has taught us only one thing, it is to be appreciative of what you have, and if you start with the fact that we even had a season, and then consider the intangibles such as youth development and experiences gained, it helps to put things in perspective.

Will anything ever return to the way it was prior to COVID? No one knows for sure, but there is hope: for the possibilities of more sports, less sickness, more activities, less death and the continued progress in ridding our world of the effects of this current pandemic.

Until next season!