LCL Football: A Recap of the 2021 Season
The 2021 season for the Lightning football team heartbreakingly came to a close on October 29th, in a 47-55 shootout against the now-State runner-up Mayville in the second round of the playoffs. This big, physical Mayville team came to Hartland to take on an LCL team that wasn’t quite as strong as always.
In the first week of the playoffs, the Lightning lost their versatile quarterback and defensive back, Luke Haertle, to a scary shoulder injury, but had put themselves in a good enough position to dominantly hold on to the lead. Haertle was surprisingly able to return the next week to face the Cardinals, but an overall frazzled LCL team fell behind 20-0 to open the game. A valiant comeback was struck down just short by injuries, size, and a rattled group on the sideline. Mayville (who continued their playoff journey all the way to Camp Randall) held on for the entirety of the game, keeping their cool even when leads fell to one possession, and silenced the usually ecstatic Lightning Nation. While the instant reaction to the loss was shock, devastation, and anger, reflection on the season illuminated much to be grateful for.
This regular season, LCL finished a perfect 9-0, often winning by extreme margins and often allowing younger bench players to test the varsity waters. On the other hand, 19 seniors were fortunate enough to be a part of the 2021 season, and during the four years in which these seniors participated in the program, the Lightning went 43-4 and took home their first state title, breaking numerous school records.
“Something More,” the team’s motto, was carried out all season long. Teammates began to embrace the little things and special moments during games, and used the motto as fuel to rise up or step in when something went wrong- to be something more. So while the Lightning ultimately fell short of their goal for the season, reflection and fellowship revealed there was still much to be celebrated. As the bleachers emptied onto the field following the loss, Lightning Nation gathered in a large, silent huddle- sharing love, disbelief, gratitude, and heartbreak- and took in what it was like to be that “something more” for the last time together.