Huskies fall to Rejoice, end memorable season

Robert Smith
The team mascot attempts to stir up some enthusiasm last Friday along Main Street in Pawhuska.

What has been an encouraging Pawhuska High School football season came to an end last Friday, with a 41-8 road playoff loss to the Rejoice Christian School Eagles, who are now 11-0.

Pawhuska High, which failed to win a game in 2017, moved from 2A to 1A this year and brought in an energetic new head coach, Matt Hennesy. The Huskies were 6-4 during the 2018 regular season, including wins over Barnsdall and Hominy, and made the playoffs.

“I was happy with the progress of our program,” Hennesy said Monday, reflecting on the season. He acknowledged it’s never a happy moment when you lose the last game. Still, he also said that if he and his assistant coaches had been told before the season that their initial team at PHS would go 6-4 and make the playoffs, they would have said, “All right, we’ll take that.”

Hennesy said he’s “super-excited and looking forward to the off-season,” which will be a time for his young players to grow stronger and more prepared for the 2019 season.

“You’ve just got to trust the process,” he said, reiterating one of his central themes, that the goal is to build a strong football program for the long term, not just to build a winning team in the short term.

The high school football season also came to a close last Friday night for at least two other Osage County schools. Hominy lost 49-28 to Commerce, and 5A Skiatook lost 31-0 to Bishop Kelley. Pawhuska finished at 6-5, Hominy at 6-5 and Skiatook at 7-4.