Sometimes things are not really as good as a final score of a football game may indicate, and at times things are not nearly as bad as the set of numerals that get recorded into the book after 48 minutes of play state.
And while the casual Jacksonville football fan may have exited Tomato Bowl last Friday night with negative thoughts after the Tribe lost its District 16-4A opener to Nacogdoches by a 31-0 score, there were several encouraging signs that were emitted by the Indians.
Coming into the game the Indians had struggled mightily in the first quarter of games this season. After 12 minutes of play last week the Indians (0-6, 0-1) and the Dragons (5-1, 1-0) were knotted at 0-0 - that folks is a small victory.
For the game the Indian defense held Nacogdoches to 388 total yards, which was a team best for this season. This is another sign that some facets of the Indians' game are heading in the right direction.
"The bottom line is, regardless of what your record is, are you getting better from week to week," Tribe defensive coordinator Mike Waldie said. "When you lose its frustrating, and there were somethings that didn't go our way, but more than anything else, we got better as a football team (last) Friday night.
"There are no moral victories in football, but when you have had a lot of injuries and you have not been playing well, you have to recognize the little things that you improve on from week to week and you have to focus on that."
Waldie said that the Tribesmen improved in the run defense department, tackled better and were more aggressive in the secondary than in past weeks.
Offensively, Waldie commented that the Tribe's running game made significant improvement last Friday.
"We did several things better and that's encouraging," Waldie said. "But because of inexcusable penalties we twice allowed them (Nacogdoches) to keep a drive alive after we had held them on third down twice and the second time that we did that they snuck their fastest kid in the game and we missed making four tackles on him that led to a touchdown as the first half ended. I think if we could have gone in to the locker room only down 14-0 it would have been a different game."