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Despite the Loss, Hope Springs Eternal

September 1, 2014
Terry Vaughan

Centuries before Stephen Foster penned a tune that made it famous, the Suwannee River was well known among native Americans for its ability to foster new life. Warring tribes considered Sulpher Springs on the Suwannee to be a sacred healing ground where they could come to bathe and sip the mineral waters while putting aside disagreements. The river winds for 266 miles through swamps, limestone banks, and salt marshes. 

Yet the grand ol' lady is considered to be the only major waterway in the Southeastern US that is still unspoiled. The secret to its resilience? It is continually being fed new life from 55 springs bubbling up along the way.

The Corey Green era at Bradford High got underway last Friday night as a team from a county that bares the name of this river flowed into David Hurse Stadium and flooded its banks. When these warring tribes met it was a mismatch, but following the 38-0 contest they congregated  at midfield and put their differences aside. If Corey Green and Suwannee Coach Jamie Rodgers shared a peace pipe afterward, no doubt the Head Bulldog provided some friendly advice: " Keep paddling and allow the springs to carry you where you want to go."

Translation: Be patient and allow your young talent to develop. You may be dead in the water in the middle of a swamp now, but the fresh water will eventually carry you in the right direction.

Rodgers should know. His team won but 3 games his first season guiding the boat. He allowed his underclassmen to make mistakes while gaining valuable experience. Last season Suwannee won 8 games and captured its first playoff berth in a decade. Now the program appears poised to make some major noise in 5A Florida football.

It may indeed appear that Corey Green is up the creek without a paddle, but  a closer examination provides hope for calmer waters ahead. There were numerous Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors who went to war next to their Senior brethren Friday night, and most displayed flashes of promise.

All signs point to Green being the right Captain to have his hands on the paddles. Tornado fans will need to be patient and allow for the healing waters of fresh springs to cure current ailments.