James Nosek | Press Box Perspectives Editor/Columnist
Everyone counted out the Comets. Sure they haven’t been to a playoff game in over seven years, sure they have only won eight games since joining the GMC but on one night, that all changed. Going into the Friday night match up against Sycamore, Mason had one goal and that was to end the game with a victory if they wanted a chance at the playoffs. They played like their lives depended on it, winning by 28 points to a team like Sycamore, the top offense team in the GMC, is saying something. No one thought the Comets would even get past Sycamore let alone beat the Aviators 41-13.
In the Cincinnati Enquirer’s weekly predictions, every writer had the Aviators winning and in the article Saturday morning, after the win, they said, “surprising victory,” over Sycamore. No credit was given to the Comets, even Maxpreps.com predicted Sycamore winning 24-22. Another slap in the face was when I reported from the away press box during the game, in the room adjacent to the Sycamore coaches.
After the first half of the game, I went to get a few comments regarding Mason’s 34-7 first half lead and all I got was a “see ya,” as they barged right past me and slammed the door behind them. They couldn’t believe that this Mason team was destroying them because before the game when I went to ask a few questions, they sounded confident about winning, especially after their 30-0 win last week versus Lakota West. “We had a great week of practice, we are going to go out there and win,” the Sycamore offensive coordinator said and naturally that’s what I was expecting to hear but it was the way he said it, almost cocky and arrogant that I would even ask him about beating this Mason team. It made me so happy to watch Mason continue to score because it felt amazing to shut up the critics.
If you missed the celebration after the game, then you really missed a spectacle, what a sight. It was absolute chaos but in a good way. The “Black hole,” stormed the field, running to the middle of the field to meet the team as they had a “rave,” type dance party, it was the perfect ending to the regular season according to Mason Head coach Brian Castner. After the game when I talked to Castner, he was crazy; loving every moment of it as the alma mater was sung in the background of the interview by pretty much the whole school.
His first words were, “Rock and roll, holy cow,” as he jumped around hugging us reporters surrounding him. I got goose bumps as I heard him talk; it felt like he was getting the emotions of the whole season out in three minutes worth of time. During the interview he agreed with the “non-respect,” the Comets received before the game and even before the season started.
“Everybody told us that we are not big enough, not fast enough,” Castner said. Well that quote right there summarizes the whole season, proving to the GMC and the state that Mason can be a contender. Who knows how far the Comets will go in the postseason, beating St. Xavier this Saturday will be difficult but the fact that we are even saying “Mason,” and “playoffs,” in the same sentence is an underdog story in itself.