The 2020 Wildcat Football season was one filled with uncertainty from the beginning. None of us knew what would happen with the spread of COVID-19 or how it would jeopardize teams from around the country. Factor that “unknown” in and an overhaul of the coaching staff and playbook and the 2020 season was filled with question marks before it even began.
Thankfully, Cuba Head Coach Tim Duarte and his new staff of coaches, D.J. Dace, Randy Bouse and C.J. Crader, were ready for the challenge and guided the team through all the uncertainty with poise, determination and a sense of togetherness not seen in Cuba for quite some time.
There were ups and downs, highs and lows and everything imaginable in between, but with strong leadership at the top, the 2020 Wildcats went on to have one of the best seasons in school history, finishing with a playing record of 6-4. Great leadership has a trickle-down effect.
As a relatively young team overall, the Wildcats were led on the field by a strong group of seniors who were determined to make the 2020 season a season to remember. They took young players under their wings and helped show them what it really means to be a Wildcat and step out onto the field on Friday nights. There was a sense of togetherness and brotherhood among all the players on the field this year unmatched by previous years.
We’ve all heard the saying “There is no I in team,” and this year, that was proven. None of the players cared about who had the most yards, touchdowns or tackles. They were all focused on one thing, achieving their TEAM goals, which were to have a winning season and have a home playoff game.
Every player did their job and what was best for the team. If that meant playing out of position, playing banged up, cheering from the sideline, or running the video equipment, everyone had a job to do every play and they did it.
The parents/fans stepped up this year as well and became a legitimate “12th man” on the field for the team. As a result of all this, the team goals were met. They did in fact have a winning season for the first time since 2010 and hosted a home playoff game for the first time since 2014.
The season was unfortunately cut short due to COVID, and a forfeit of the second round playoff game was unavoidable. Technically, that is chalked up as a loss in the record book, but I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone on the team saying they lost a fifth game. That’s the new “never say die” attitude of the team. The future is bright for Wildcat football. Young players got to watch and learn from the upperclassmen about how to do things the right way on and off the field this season.
Next year will be their chance to step up and continue to build the success that the team has seen the last two seasons. It’s a great time to be a Wildcat!