The Van-Far/Community R-VI football team’s 41-6 district loss to Palmyra last Friday night was a tough way for the Indians to end their season with a 3-7 record.
With several players out due to an injury, the FFA trip, and some not being at the game, the Indians were forced to put several inexperienced players at key positions on the offensive line.
In fact, they had just 20 players in uniform for the game.
Palmyra jumped out to a 21-0 lead before Eric Hombs scored on an option play from around 25 yards out. A failed two-point conversion kept the score at 21-6 at halftime.
The Panthers pulled away in the second half to win the game by 35 points.
“It was just one of those deals, if we could have played them with the team we played with the first two weeks (of the season),” said Van-Far/Community R-VI head coach Kevin Baldwin.
“We played our best game of the year defensively. We did not play well offensively, unfortunately. The kids played hard.”
The loss meant it was the final one for a core group of seniors who have played several years for the program. Those players include Verlyn Johnson, Eric Hombs, and Treyson Culwell.
Coach Baldwin also noted the play of Blake Crider, who gave his team everything he had playing with an injury.
“He wanted to make the best of his last opportunity to play and he did,” Baldwin said.
This offseason, Coach Baldwin said the team needs to work on getting stronger and quicker.
After the team’s loss, Baldwin took the team right into the locker room. There he told them his intention of retiring after the school year, making this his final football game as the Indians’ coach.
He said he will always treasure winning his 100th career football game and he won’t forget the players who helped make that win a special one.
He also talked about winning back-to-back state championships in track and field.
“One thing I keep telling everybody, is that I have been very blessed here,” Coach Baldwin said.
“To know the people I got to meet and never was there a single day where I didn’t want to get up and go to work. It has been a pleasure and I’m sure it will continue for the rest of the year.”