Let’s hear it for the Flashes

Talk about a roller-coaster season.

Last year’s Flashes gave us a 1-10 record, and at the start of this year, things didn’t look much better. Our winless streak, carried over from the previous season, carried forward. Our team looked hapless and hopeless.

Then, suddenly, we won. And we won again. And again. All told, a five-game winning streak inspired real excitement on campus. We were leading the Mid-American Conference. We had a real shot at winning the conference and even going to a bowl game.

Sadly, the second half of the season was a bit of a letdown. With four losses in its last five games, the Kent State football team ended the season Saturday with a 6-6 record, one victory shy of a winning year. No MAC title for us. No bowl game.

Still, the Flashes have a great deal to be proud about. Last year we were winless in the MAC. This year we won five games and ended up in second place in our division. The team also showed incredible progress in its overall record. That’s a truly unexpected turnaround.

But even more important, Kent State’s athletic boosters proved that school spirit isn’t impossible to come by at the university. In past years, it seemed the band was the only support for the team. Empty stands were an embarrassment to the team and the school.

Not this year. Turnout at games early in the season, during the incredible win streak, was fantastic. Tailgating was the perfect addition for fans, who showed up for a party and stayed for some great football.

Credit has to be given to the football team for improving, the athletic department for creating a participatory atmosphere that extended beyond the game itself and the fans for actually showing up. The editorial board applauds all these positive steps toward building school spirit.

In the end, the Flashes exceeded any expectations we could have had for this year. And while the end of the season turned out to be a disappointment, the program has built a foundation that could lead to great things in the future.

So, thanks Flashes. You finally gave us something to be excited about.

Just wait until next year.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.