Football victories lifting spirits
Published 3:47 pm Wednesday, December 5, 2007
As a town, Plymouth may not always have a lot to be happy about. The population is down, jobs have been lost and Washington County is having trouble attracting new industry.
Forget all that this Saturday.
Starting at 11 a.m. and for at least two hours, Plymouth will be in the spotlight for something few communities ever realize. Coach Robert Cody’s Plymouth High School Vikings will be playing for the state 1-A football championship at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh.
Just making it to that game is a massive accomplishment, and it’s something everybody can be proud of. Plymouth has racked up 15 victories without a defeat this year to earn its spot. But state titles aren’t just about athletics. A championship is something that can bring a community together like few things can.
Washington County Commissioner Tracey Johnson added an item to Monday’s Board of Commissioners’ agenda just to mention that it was outstanding the Vikings are championship-game bound.
Cody is no stranger to football. He’s been coaching it for 28 years. He understands, perhaps more than most, that winning is fun, but it’s not everything. He understands players have to make the academic grade in order to play. Just being a good athlete isn’t enough.
The Vikings had a strong season last year, but the Manteo Redskins won a 24-22 playoff heartbreaker in Plymouth. The Vikings found themselves down 17-0 at halftime, but Andre Mitchell fought back with a 65-yard-yard touchdown run and a 71-yard run that fell just a few yards from the end zone.
Cody admitted the loss hurt.
And this year, Cody has had fun.
There is something about Plymouth’s team that sets them apart from others. Cody’s message is sinking in.
When interviewed about the championship, Plymouth’s offensive linemen said in unison, “We win together (and) we lose together.” They haven’t tasted defeat this year.
After going 15-0 and outscoring opponents 174-6 in the postseason so far, there is no doubt that Cody and his Vikings are exactly where they deserve to be.
And it means a lot to the community.