LAFAYETTE, Ind. — There are those who think everything can be found in who wins and who loses.
That is small picture thinking. By that yardstick, there is nothing but total defeat to be found in Liberty Christian's loss to Marquette Catholic on Saturday in the Lafayette semistate title game.
Certainly there is pain that was created that day. It is pain that remains today and will last for some time to come.
Senior Ben Bowen was feeling that pain shortly after the game ended. "It's hard to see anything positive right now," he said. "It is just tough to know that it is over now."
There were other indications of the pain Marquette had inflicted. Head Coach Jason Chappell came out of the locker room and the redness in the eyes was one of the first things noticeable about his appearance.
When he composed himself and spoke with the media, he stated steadfastly his viewpoint on the much larger picture.
"Some people think the prize is winning," said Chappell. "The prize really is the journey. The fact that we lost isn't the most important thing."
At some point, with some programs, that might sound hallow and unconvincing. That's not the way it sounded Saturday afternoon.
The Lions' progression has been without any sudden ascension. It was been fueled by steady progression. Chappell categorized it this way, "Some teams take the elevator to the top. We continue to take the stairway."
For two seasons, Liberty claimed sectional titles and posted regional wins only to lose in the regional championship game. This year that regional became theirs. In a way, it would have been an elevator ride to go all the way to the state championship this year.
Not that any follower of Liberty Christian would have complained about such a leap forward, but it would have been out of character.