NEWPORT–It is easy to cheer for a winner.
During last year's regular season, North Country's football team made winning mundane, so it was easy for fans to show up to the field and root, root, root for the home team.
This year it is just the opposite.
By now, most people know that the Falcons are a younger, smaller, less experienced version of the 2011 team, and they are going to go through some growing pains.
Last week's 53-0 loss coupled with Friday's 51-0 defeat at the hands of Rice leave the Falcons with no points for and 104 points against in the last two games.
Here I could go on to tell you exactly how Rice's potent arial attack, combined with some nice runs, dismantled the Falcons, but nobody wants to hear it, least of all the players who were on the field Friday night.
So, in summation, Rice won by the score 51-0.
Now, what I do want to talk about is what I led this article off with in the first place;
Rooting for the home team.
While the record will not be good by the time the season ends, here are a few things, in, no particular order, that fans should really key into for the rest of the season.
Let's start with Jacob Buckles.
The senior receiver/safety has been there for North Country for every game this season, rarely getting a rest, and from what I can tell and have heard on the sideline, doing so without complaint.
I may be wrong about the complaining, I don't know, I am not in the huddle or the locker room, but I don't see him getting stupid penalties on the field, berating people unnecessarily, or whining to the officials.
By not doing the negative thing, he is setting an example for the youngsters on which to base their on-field behavior moving forward.
Caleb Prue is another person to cheer for.
He could have easily, and with complete understanding, elected not to return to football in what he undoubtedly knew was going to be a trying campaign.
I certainly would not have begrudged him for saving himself for the basketball season, where he will more than likely once again be the top dog on the Falcons.
Heck, I could have understood why he might have called it quits after the Fair Haven game.
But did he?
Nope, or at least as of this writing he is still on the team, so kudos to him for sticking with his commitment and continuing to play hard on both sides of the ball.
Junior Tyler Sanville and senior Colton White are also out there battling.
Wyatt Prue, who is slated to be back on the field this coming week, could have sat out the remainder of the season allowing his body the extra time to heal, but he appears to be rearing to go.
As for the young guys, Connor Hogan is learning how to be a varsity level quarterback on the fly.
Sure he had taken reps in practice, but when you are thrust into action, much like Buckles was two years ago, you will deal with a learning curve, so lets be supportive and nurture him along.
Is the line small?
Absolutely, but these guys are going to grow, be it either in height, by weight, or a combination of both,so I urge patience from the Falcon Faithful.
Just remember, the lumps they are taking as freshman and sophomores, they are not going to forget them, and you know what they say about payback.
With coach Simoneau and the rest of the staff's guidance, these youngsters will learn, and within two years you might be saying that Brandon Bowen is the reincarnate of Bubba Collins.
Speaking of the coach, coming into your first season as the man making all the decisions during a rebuilding year is never easy, but it can have it's advantages.
For instance, you learn a lot about your players when the chips are down.
Plus, he has a year to tinker with his schemes. They might not produce the desired results in 2012, but when you see Hogan throw a bomb to a streaking Jared Hussey in 2014, remember these words.
Next up for the Falcons is a trip down I-91 to Lyndonville where they will take on the host Vikings at 1:00.