Bobcats' Effort likened to British light calvary
O'Hara forced to watch at home
Vows things will be 'different' when roster full-throttle
There is such a thing as losing with valor. There is such a thing as being valiant and courageous in the face of near certain defeat.
Now, Breathitt didn’t go to Lexington, Kentucky last night defeated. Their play to the last second effort was a testament to no one got off Breathitt’s bus feeling their fate was, in any way, sealed.
However football pundits, this one included, knew Dunbar in Lexington would be a task for any team, at any level of football. Dunbar, in Lexington, with anything other than a full accoutrement of talent; well, perhaps that was similar to The Charge of the Light Brigade.
The famous poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, wrote about such an endeavor in his poem of the self-same title. Assistant coach, Justin Combs, of Breathitt, suggested on social media this morning I, too, would be writing of a similarly courageous and valiant effort after Breathitt suffered a 69-28 defeat at the hands of Class 6A, ’20 semifinalist, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. Last night, after all, was a contest tied at half-time with an outcome still very much in question well into the 4th and final stanza.
Tennyson wrote about the light cavalry charge led by a Lord Cardigan against the Russian troops at the Battle of Balaclava in October of 1854. Tennyson's topic chronicled one of the greater confrontations among one of the more storied battles fought in the Crimean War.
The battle about which I wrote this morning, the one I am now chronicling, looked like it could have been among the greatest upsets in program history for much of the evening until it slipped away very late into the 4th-quarter. Breathitt doesn't play many games in which it is a decided underdog.
According to Lord Tennyson, one of history’s foremost poets, the British light calvary had “Cannon to the right of them,/Cannon to the left of them,/Cannon in front of them/Volleyed and thundered;/Stormed at with shot and shell,/Boldly they rode and well,/Into the jaws of Death,/Into the mouth of hell…”
Can't speak for how Lord Cardigan felt in 1854 at the literal battle. As for the metaphorical battle our boys fought last night in Lexington, Kentucky; Tennyson's verse sums up my observations and aptly describes events rather well for most who either played or watched our opener to the '21 KHSAA football season.
The Light Brigade had 600 men. Last night, Breathitt mustered 27 or so men to ride into its own version of the mouth of hell.
Five (5) starters were out, having tested positive with COVID-19, a foe on the ‘21 schedule every week more daunting than any team we will face. Yet, valiantly Breathitt charged. Bravely, our Bobcats fought.
While his brothers were out facing one of 6A’s foremost programs, and certainly among the better programs in Kentucky’s second largest city, Braxton O’Hara, arguably among the club’s most skilled warriors, was forced to watch the action at home. We decided to interview him.
This interview, and the answers he provided to our inquiries, promised to be his only “action” on August 20, 2021. Below is what he shared with us.
JTV: First of all, when do you get out of COVID jail (so to speak) making you ready to resume playing?
O’Hara: I retest next Wednesday (August 25, 2021) and if I test “negative,” I should be back by the next game against Powell County.
JTV: Tell us how relieved you feel to have been cleared to play for Breathitt again by the KHSAA?
O’Hara: It’s a blessing to get to play one last year for my Bobcats. Not many student athletes get this opportunity to return to play a 5th year.
JTV: What is your hope for this senior year back home?
O’Hara: I’m hoping to help anyway I can to get bring us 2A state championship. I believe, with my experience, I can be a big help for the Bobcats this year.
JTV: How good do you believe this edition of the Bobcats can be, when back to full strength?
O’Hara: I believe we could be pretty great once we get back healthy. We have all the right tools to be great. We just have to show “greatness” every remaining game.
We are very dangerous team that wasn’t even in the 2A top 10 this preseason. We don’t like to be overlooked. Some people are gonna find out why overlooking Breathitt isn’t wise.
JTV: Who are some of the players on this year’s roster who most inspire you?
O’Hara: I’m inspired by the whole team. We have a great amount of talent at every position.
JTV: Who are some of the coaches on staff, either past or present, who have most inspired you?
O’Hara: The two main coaches who have inspired me to be great are Coach Holcomb and Coach Moore. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t know the things I know today.
JTV: How has becoming a father changed your perspective and outlook?
O’Hara: Becoming a father of now two has taught me a lot things. It has taught me responsibility and true love. It has also taught me to push even harder to succeed.
JTV: How much further along physically are you now then when we last saw you in "blue and white" back in ’19?
O’Hara: In my opinion, I believe I’m mentally and physically stronger than I was in 19’. I’ve developed more skills, playing with a bigger school last year, that will help me this season.
JTV: Compare this present team to the '19 squad?
O’Hara: This year we are a younger team from what we had back in 19’. We still have all the right tools to help us be successful. When we get back to full-throttle, 2A will be surprised at our capabilities.