Too early to celebrate? Owls face momentous game

Beating New Albany tonight could prove the biggest victory for the program in more than a decade.

With a win against the Bulldogs (5-2), Seymour (4-3) guarantees a winning regular season record.

The Owls haven’t done that since 2005, when they finished 7-2 before ending 8-3.

They would also run the table for second place in the Hoosier Hills Conference — pending any enormous upsets.

Right now, the Owls are in a three-way tie at 3-2 with Floyd Central and Jeffersonville while New Albany is 4-1 in HHC play.

With a win they just need to beat Madison (2-5) in the last week of play to secure the spot just under Class 5A No. 4 Columbus East.

Jeffersonville plays Columbus East at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday in Indianapolis; as if it wasn’t hard enough to beat the Olympians without the added excitement.

Take all of that information in.

Reread it if you missed anything.

The second smallest school in the HHC, Seymour, has shocked the league, and, at times, performed well above outside expectations this fall.

They could finish above a trio of schools that are almost double its size.

Prior to the start of the 2016 season, the Owls were predicted to finish fifth in the conference standings.

While the Owls haven’t won by large margins during the past few weeks, there’s no doubt that they’re on a roll.

All but one of their victories were within one score by the final whistle.

But that doesn’t matter, though.

A win is a win — and you can’t take that away from any team on Friday nights.

When you play in the gauntlet that is the HHC, all wins are equal.

They’ve reaped the benefits of hard work.

Take out the outlier that is the season opening loss against Silver Creek, and this team only has losses to Jeff and Columbus East.

My biggest takeaway from the Owls thus far this season is that have proven they have learned how to win after years of ebbs and flows.

That statement can’t be overstated.

At any level, creating a winning culture is an incredibly tough feat from the bottom up.

Seasons come and go, but mindsets can linger for days, months and years.

It takes time, patience and hard work from the players to coaches to administration.

In today’s society, coaches are recycled — from the pros down — with unrealistic expectations from the get-go.

It’s like the leaves of autumn in Indiana — one minute you’re gazing at them, and then you turn around and they’re gone and it’s winter.

The Owls have gone all-in with coach Josh Shattuck and crew, and it’s undeniable that the changes have bettered the program the past three years.

The Owls have turned the corner and are ready to finish above .500 after a hiatus.

If last year’s game is any indication, a 42-26 win for Seymour, celebrations could be in order this weekend for the Owls.

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Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at jmorey@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.