The following letter was penned by former Washington High football standout Trevor Gebhart. He is currently a junior wide receiver at North Dakota State and closely followed the Warriors’ season, which ended 3-6 following Thursday’s hard-fought playoff loss to second-ranked Roosevelt.
Several former players have been critical of this year’s Washington program under first-year coach Chad Stadem, who took over for Brian Hermanson after the school won three of the last four state titles.
Gebhart was on the front end of that big-city dynasty and helped set the tone for the Warrior Way that stirred so much success. In his letter, he urges the Washington players (especially those coming back in 2014 and beyond) to maintain that mission:
I watched the livestream of the game vs. Roosevelt last night and I can’t tell you how proud I am of you guys. You battled and fought, and never gave up like true Warriors. I’m definitely glad the pride of the Orange & Black is being carried on.
What made me so proud is that despite the season, and that game not going the way you wanted, no one gave up. You could have easily just thrown up the white flag and been done with all of it. But that’s not what we’re about at Washington, and you guys held true to that with the hardest of obstacles right in your face. That’s really what Warrior Pride is all about.
At NDSU, right inside the locker room door, we walk out for home games we have written, “Those who stay, will be champions.” The reason that’s there is because we know that no team is ever going to outwork us. That comes with a great price, though. It takes a tremendous amount of effort that not a lot of people are willing to do. Sounds familiar, huh?
I know for a fact you guys have shed blood, sweat, and tears for this. And because of the price you paid in that, and did not give up, you really are champions. That’s something you can always hang your hat on and that no one can ever take away from you.
For you seniors that are done, I know it probably wasn’t the way you wanted it to end, but hold your heads up and really be proud of what you did accomplish. There are very valuable life lessons to be learned from it all. If you are continuing to play in college, I wish you nothing but the best of luck and hope that you carry on the Warrior tradition wherever you go.
For those coming back next season, don’t ever lose that edge you displayed last night. Use that momentum and same confidence you played with to propel the team into next season. Continue to do all the little things right, outwork everybody else, and most importantly stay together. Nothing can beat a band of brothers that are proud to represent the Warriors. Do this and I can promise you great things will come your way.
I truly am proud of you guys.
Once a Warrior, Always a Warrior,