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The Warhorses played their final game of the season on the night before Halloween, so it was fitting that there was a haunting silence on the field when it ended.

Owen lost to Polk 41-20 to finish the season 1-9. Their sole win coming against Avery.

It was a tough season for the Warhorses, who struggled to find their footing in head coach Nathan Padgett’s first season on the sideline.

It’s hard to fully appreciate life’s lessons in the moment when a team is struggling through a long season in which wins are difficult to come by. But with the season over, that leaves time for reflection.

As individuals on the team look back at the season that was, each one of them will have their own unique perspective from which to assess what they have picked up along the way.

The sophomores and freshmen on the team learned what it’s like to play through adversity, which is the kind of lesson that you are certainly better off learning sooner than later.

With two and three seasons left in their respective high school careers, the young Warhorses have learned how to play all the way through until the final horn sounds. The season that sophomore Sidney Gibbs turned in was the undisputed highlight of Owen’s year.

It became clear to anyone with eyes that Gibbs is one of the best running backs in Buncombe County, so he has learned how to handle all of the additional pressure that comes along with that designation.

The season was a character builder for the juniors on the Warhorse roster. Guys like Cyrus Hooper, Casey Young and Waleed Kahlil were forced to mature in the toughest of environments. They learned that sometimes all you can do is play hard and hope for the best.

And that is a valuable lesson for the 11 young men who will be the foundation of the team next year.

Next season will serve as a barometer for the juniors to measure precisely how much the hard work the put in this off-season pay off.

Perhaps the seniors on this team learned the toughest lessons of all. They definitely learned that every ending is not a happy one and that everything eventually comes to an end. But they clearly learned how to see a task through to the bitter end.

Guys like Dexter Andrews and Colby Maloney who played their hearts out all year even after it became clear that the season would be tough.

Now they will begin the next chapters of their lives as each one of them finds out what the future has in store.

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