It was another difficult night of football as Maumee lost its eighth straight game, 56-0 to Napoleon.
The streak isn’t good for the current Panthers seniors, who have won one game in 23 tries as varsity players. It’s a streak and a culture that second-year Maumee coach Cam Coutcher and his staff are trying to break down and rebuild every day.
“When you train a baby elephant in a zoo, you tie him to a tree. Then the rest of their lives, they feel like they have an imaginary rope attached to them,” Coutcher said, paraphrasing a book the team read, “Pounding the Stone.”
“Our seniors have only won one football game. They’re still tied to that tree. We’re trying to find ways to the cut the rope. We’re doing our best job to teach these guys the value of hard work and competitive nature.”
The stats against the Wildcats bore out a singularly one-sided game. Napoleon went up 49-0 at halftime. It out-gained Maumee 456-19, including a staggering 373-negative 5 in rushing yards.
In results like that, it can be hard to find the valuable teaching moments, but Coutcher said it’s important to break down the game to its base elements and not just wins and losses.
“Process controls the outcome. If we can get them to believe in themselves and trust the process, that’s what it takes,” Coutcher said. “It’s way more than football with our program. I’d say that if we were 3-0 the same way if we’re 0-3. It’s not a cliché, it’s not something I’m just trying to say, like we don’t care about winning. We care about winning, but we care about the process over outcomes more.”
Napoleon running back Jarrett Gerdeman rushed for 154 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 14 yards per carry.
“They have their culture, and they have their way of doing things,” Coutcher said. “They’re a physical team. Small playbook, do what we do and do it really well.”
The Panthers (0-3) will return to the field Friday when they travel to Northview. And while Coutcher knows his kids will work hard during the week in practice and in the game, he’s hoping for that rope to get frayed and for the Panthers to compete.
“There’s a difference between competing and working hard,” Coutcher said. “When you’re competing, you’re being pushed by someone else and you want to dominate a situation. When you’re working hard, you don’t have a measuring stick.”