OTHELLO — A black pickup truck sat in the dirt parking lot on 7th Street across from Husky Stadium. As the people walked across the street to their cars and filed out, this truck sat isolated, alone in its vigil.
One-by-one the other cars left, the stadium long since empty, the truck sat there like a dog anxiously waiting for the return of its master. Even the Cheney School District bus gathered up its occupants, who were glad to get out of town with a 1-nil victory over Othello in the 2A in a Great Northern League/Central Washington Athletic Conference loser-out crossover match to determine a berth in the 2A state bracket.
As the black pickup sat there in the empty lot, like its master, who remained seated on the bench in an empty stadium long after screaming soccer fans departed, a single raindrop trickled down the windshield, like the teardrop its owner would never shed.
Dreams die hard. Actually it's not right to say the dream died on Saturday afternoon as much as it is to say some have to win, some have to lose and when it's you doing the losin', well that stinks.
The driver of the black pickup finally made his way across the infield, through the empty stadium and over to the only vehicle in the parking lot. He climbed in and sat there for a good long time.
Othello senior Reese Jones just wasn't ready to call it a high school career. He sat there poking on the cell phone, silent in his thoughts, wondering how it could have turned out differently. He had a point-blank shot that would have tied the match, but Cheney goalkeeper Dalton Mauzay made an athletic play for the stop.
It was an even match, really. The Blackhawks had just the one breakaway in the 15th minute. Noah Prophet was taken down hard and the Huskies were called for the violation, setting up a penalty kick. Othello keeper Jose Gomez predicted the right direction, diving to make the stop, but the ball crossed under his outstretched arm for the match's only score.
That was it. One goal, 15 minutes into it. The remaining 65 minutes were played to stalemate. Each team believing it was one shot away, a berth in the 2A state tournament hanging in the balance.
For six Othello seniors, they were hoping to return to the state tournament and relive the past glory like two years ago when they reached the Final Four. But that didn't happen. For seniors Irvin Sandoval, Luis Gomez, Chris Alfaro, Frankie Ramos, Arturo Velasquez and Jones, their high school careers came to an end.
Jones hit the windshield wipers one time, wiping away the single watermark that had it made its way down the dusty windshield. Started up the engine and drove away, his thoughts private and kept to himself on a day where a great Husky career lived out in public came to an end.
Score by halves
- C - Noah Prophet (penalty kick), 15th minute