The season just passed was the best season for Blue Lion football in over 20 years.
In 2022, Washington went 8-2 in the regular season and qualified to the playoffs.
In the postseason, the Blue Lions visited Columbus South, playing the Bulldogs for just the second time in school history. The previous meeting was in 1912.
Washington outlasted South in that game, 61-54.
That victory earned the Blue Lions a second playoff game, this one at the home of the No. 1 seed Sheridan Generals.
This time, there was no early deficit for the Blue Lions to come back from, as was the case in the game with South, where Washington trailed twice by 28 points in the first half.
Against Sheridan, the Blue Lions were able to answer, at least for a while.
Sheridan led 27-14 at the half and added another six to the tally to start the third quarter.
The Blue Lions responded, cutting the margin briefly to 33-20.
The scores kept coming from the Generals as they led by 21 then 27 points with five minutes to play.
Both teams scored quickly late in the game, putting the final at 60-34.
Due to time constraints last week, the Record-Herald did not speak with head coach Chuck Williamson after the game.
The Record-Herald did talk to Williamson earlier this week for a few of his thoughts.
“It was not a bad season,” Williamson said. “We had good leadership from our seniors, which, we’re going to miss those guys.
“As far as the Sheridan game, it was 14-13, we were leading with four minutes to go in the half,” Williamson said. “It wasn’t like we were physically over matched. In certain games, you’re just physically out-gunned. In this one, we were not.
“We made a mistake on defense,” Williamson said. “We had them pinned and we missed an assignment. I think it was third and 18, so we would have had the ball with the lead coming out of the half. They got the first down and went down and scored.
“Then we came back, we were going to try something safe, a little screen,” Williamson said. There was a receiver open on that play, according to Williamson, but, this time at least, the Blue Lions missed the connection.
“Then (Sheridan) scored again and went up two scores,” Williamson said. “Then we were scrambling for points. We began to wear down and they just ran right at us and we couldn’t stop them.”
Williamson recognized several key members of the football program.
“Our coaching staff is tremendous,” Williamson said. “The amount of time and effort these guys put in — nobody knows how much time these guys put in to coach these kids up. So, I’d like to thank the coaching staff.
“Thank you to the parents of these seniors,” Williamson said. “Giving us the opportunity to coach their kids, their most-prized asset; they hand them over to us to coach them, and we do appreciate that. We don’t take it lightly that they give us the opportunity to coach their young men.
“Of course, our seniors,” Williamson said. “You spend four years with these guys, you get close to them; you go through the highs and lows. I couldn’t be prouder of a group of guys. I think it’s been 20-some years since we’ve won nine games, so, I’m very proud of what they accomplished and they should be proud of what they accomplished.”
Nine was the most wins in a season for Washington since 2001 when they went 10-0. The Blue Lions played two playoff games that year, going 1-1 with a win over Cincinnati Indian Hill and a loss to Archbishop Alter.