Covenant Christian Academy’s football season had only been finished for a little more than 14 hours on Saturday morning when Lions coach Randy Boquet picked up the phone and started the interview he’d promised our newspaper.
His answers were about expected at first.
He expressed disappointment in the team’s loss to Cedar Creek. He said some things along the way could have gone differently that could have impacted his team. He said it’ll be difficult to show up to school on Monday morning without a football game to prepare for with his team.
But during the third question of the interview, Boquet’s tone changed, and he spoke from the heart.
At that time, it all sort-of came full circle and he said what everyone else in the community already knew: The Lions had one heck of a 2016 football season.
Yes, CCA was beaten by Cedar Creek 42-0 on Friday night at Nicholls – a game that the visiting team controlled from the onset.
But no, the outcome doesn’t damper what Boquet called a magical year, a nine-win campaign for a school that’s still growing out of its infancy stages and which wasn’t even opened yet when the team’s players were born.
“I don’t want to call it a curse, but it’s almost like the curse of being a coach,” Boquet said. “It’s like, in our job, we’re always so focused on what’s next. We’re so focused on, ‘Who’s going to play quarterback next year?’ or, ‘Who’s going to be our next kid to step up?’ But so rarely do we sit back, remove ourselves from the situation and just enjoy it for what it is. For the next week, I am going to do exactly that – enjoy our year. … We had one heck of a season. We are so, so proud of our kids and our seniors. For us, a little baby school that’s still learning to walk against these established programs, to have gotten this far, I think it’s incredible.”
Friday night just wasn’t CCA’s night.
The Cougars controlled the Lions on both lines of scrimmage, using their triple option offense to roll to a 21-0 lead in the first half.
The Lions had chances throughout the half to battle back, but the ball never bounced their way, which was tough to recover from, considering how effective Cedar Creek is at limiting possessions.
“We knew we had to get out on them early and get a lead,” Boquet said. “We had chances to do that and maybe change the game around, but it just never happened for us.”
Behind in the second half, CCA took chances offensively in the second half, but it didn’t net any type of a comeback.
The Cougars continued to stop CCA’s efforts, while adding more touchdowns of their own, ballooning the lead to its final margin.
Boquet credited Cedar Creek with the win, touting that they served as a measuring stick that the Lions will hope to reach someday.
CCA was also hampered heavily by injuries throughout the game, which affected both the team’s offensive and defensive depth chart, as most Lions players play both ways.
“They’re impressive. They showed up on three charter busses. They had numbers. Their guys were extremely well-coached,” Boquet said. “They did this magical thing called substituting, which I think really helped them – especially in the second half.”
But even in defeat, no one in the Lions community is sagging their heads.
Boquet said he wanted to thank the team’s seniors for working tirelessly throughout their careers to help build the program.
He added that the Lions underclassmen will now carry the baton forward and continue to lead CCA’s program into the future.
“We’re excited,” Boquet said. “We’re replacing some really, really talented players – some guys who mean an awful lot to our program. But we will work hard with the younger, up and coming guys and make sure that we’re ready at every position.” •
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