THE STORYBOOK season, unfortunately, failed to have a fairy tale ending.
Nonetheless, the St. Clairsville High football team authored a season that will go down in the archives as one of the best the Ohio Valley has ever witnessed.
A heartbreaking loss in a state championship contest does nothing to tarnish a sparkling season by the Red Devils. Fourteen successive high-powered victories propelled St. C. into the Division IV state championship contest against unbeaten and record-setting Clinton-Massie.
The Falcons, located near Cincinnati, established a state season-single scoring record. They were a potent outfit, indeed.
The Red Devils displayed their boundless resolve early on Friday, fighting back from a 19-0 deficit. St. C. battled all the way back to climb within 39-36, but just couldn't get over one final hurdle.
The spirited comeback reflected the strong character and desire exhibited all season by the Red Devils. A team with less heart and mental makeup would have folded their tents early on against Clinton-Massie.
But even in gut-wrenching defeat, Coach Brett McLean's charges continued to demonstrate class, showing again why they truly are champions.
St. Clairsville's march to Canton invigorated not just St. Clairsville, but consumed all of Eastern Ohio. Prep rivalries were dissolved as an outpouring of fans from countless OVAC schools were on hand to cheer on the Red Devils.
We salute a most remarkable team on a most remarkable season. The Red Devils of St. Clairsville are champions in every sense of the word.