We’re taking a break from questions specifically about the Gamecocks and borrowing the idea for this week’s question from our parent site, SB Nation. On Tuesday, people shared the worst sports losses they experienced as children and today we’ll share ours. So, what was the worst sports loss that you participated in as a kid?
Back in my middle school days I wrestled in the Texas AAU circuit pretty much every weekend in November through March. Not to brag, but I was pretty good in my weight class. My seventh grade year I went all the way to the Texas AAU state championships, where the top four kids in the 125 pound class would square off for the state championship. I was good enough to be in that top four.
I went into that weekend in Houston more confident in myself than I should have been. I had made it all the way to the final four and was pinned in my first two matches against the top two seeds. Granted I was the No. 3 seed in the tournament, but I believed I should have put up a better showing than that.
I was so tired and downtrodden by the time I got to the four-seed -- a guy whom I’d pinned twice earlier that year -- I essentially mailed in the match. So yeah, placing fourth in the state finals doesn’t sound like a huge loss. But it happened in the most humiliating way possible after what was absolutely my best season in AAU.
There are a lot of crappy losses in my sports career, but the worst sports loss during my sports career wasn't when I was kid. Well I'm 17, so technically I'm pretty much still a kid. But I'm gonna go to my more recent years and talk about what defines my kind of bad loss. A bad loss isn't where you get blown out by 43 in a football game, which has happened to me. We gave everything we had, but at the end of the day we had a pick six at the opponent’s one and fumble returned for a TD too.
The worst kind of loss anyone can have while playing sports is when they simply get blown out and nobody even cares about the game. This happened to me in the first round of SCISA AA playoffs for basketball a year ago, where my night Carolina Academy Bobcats faced off against the Spartanburg Day Griffins. If you don't know who Zion Williamson is, we really found out that day. At the time he was #13 player in his class, and we simply had no one that could defend him or even come close. To end it there, my coach came in at half time and slammed his clipboard because we were down by 40. Honestly didn't know what to tell the dude. Yeah, I got embarrassed that game.
The worst sports loss I have participated in was my final game of organized sports. I played baseball all throughout my childhood but I never had more fun playing the game than in my senior year of high school. My school, Indian Land High, in Fort Mill, had qualified for the SC State playoffs for the first time in five years and for the first time since moving from class 1A to 2A. We qualified as the final seed from our region. I was the 4th pitcher on the team and rotated between 1B, 3B and DH. We dropped our opener and came through the losers bracket to get to the regional final against our local rivals. After getting swept in the regular season, we swept them on the night to win the regional. At that point we were playing with house money. After scraping qualification in our final game, we were 1 of 8 teams left in 2A.
We dropped our opener in the upper state to another region rival, Central Pageland. After winning an elimination game against the defending state champs, we had to travel back to Pageland for another elimination game. We were 0-3 against them on the year and went down 4-0 quick. Playing in our seventh game in a little less than two weeks, our pitching was shot. After our ace gave up four in two innings I was called upon to try and keep us in it. I gave up one run in 4 innings and led off the 5th with a single that started a four-run rally to tie it up at 5. After getting out of bases loaded jam in the 6th, coach decided to pull me for the 7th. We didn't score in the top half so went into the bottom half at 5-5. Three batters later the bases were loaded with nobody out. I was at third and I looked over to the shortstop, a fellow senior and guy I grew up playing with. We both shook our heads because we knew what was coming. As our pitcher started his motion towards home the runner on third broke. I charged in, hoping the batter would miss but he put down a bunt in no-mans land half-way between the mound and home plate. We didn't have a prayer.
It was a fun ride and I enjoyed every bit of those two weeks but having your playing days ended on a suicide squeeze, well, just plain sucks.
My worst sports loss as a kid wasn’t technically a loss, which I think actually made it worse. I ran track beginning in 7th grade when I was 12. At the end of my first season we went to Regionals to compete against several other high schools in the area (we didn’t have a junior varsity team, so our team was made up of both junior high and high school kids). I was on the 4x800m relay team, which means I was one of four girls on the team and we each ran two laps in the race. We were a great relay team and we placed high enough to advance to the next round. We got several happy minutes of celebrating before our coach came to tell us that we had just been disqualified. One of the other girls on the team had forgotten to take her earrings out before the race. Absolutely no jewelry was allowed during races and one of the other coaches had noticed her tiny little stud earrings and reported her. We were all heartbroken and I still remember how awful it felt to crash down so quickly from that excitement to the disappointment. Fortunately, three of us were so occupied trying to comfort the teammate that had worn the earrings that we were somewhat distracted from our own misery. And we all learned a valuable lesson, as I’m pretty sure none of the girls that were there that day ever wore earrings to a track meet again.