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A Trip Down Baker Street
In 1978, which happened to be my Senior year in high school, Scottish Singer/Songwriter Gerry Rafftery released a tune that peaked at #2 on the Billboard charts. Entitled "Baker Street", one of the lines in the song went like this:
You used to think that it was so easy..
You uses to say that it was so easy.
But you're trying, you're trying now.
Another year and then you'd be happy..
Just one more year and then you'd be happy.
But you're cryin', you're cryin' now.
There was a time that Bradford's trip down Baker Street was more like a stroll down Easy Street. The rivalry between Bradford and Baker County began well before the World War II era, yet the Wildcats did not record a single victory in the series until 1980.
Once the glass was broken and Baker celebrated that initial conquest, the momentum began to shift in the rivalry. The past 30+ years Baker has slowly grabbed the upper hand and Cat victories have become commonplace.
In recent years, it has been the Tornadoes who have been the ones tryin' to regain bragging rights. Each new season would bring a hope that the gap had been narrowed. But it has been Baker who time after time has left the game happy and Tornado fans cryin'.
Last Friday Bradford took another trip down Baker Street-and for the first time in memory, there was a feeling that the Tornadoes had a chance to pry the steering wheel from the Wildcat's grip for future journeys.
Yes, Bradford again fell short in Macclenny, this time by a score of 20-12. But the Tornadoes went toe-to-toe with their 5A rivals and held them to 16 points below their season average. Bradford seemed to relish the opportunity to show the Wildcats that the days of Baker dominance may be slipping.
Coaches hate to claim Moral Victories. If a guy drowns in 6 inches of water it is the same result as if he drowns in the Atlantic Ocean. Yet, in his heart you can bet that Steve Reynolds feels that his team can grasp some measure of momentum with the close loss. If Bradford can play with the 5A District Champion Wildcats, there is reason to believe that great strides were accomplished by the 6-4 Tornadoes and 2013 may reveal even larger gains.
Before embarking on his solo career, Gerry Rafftery was the lead singer for a group called Stealers Wheel. Their big hit back in the day was the song "Stuck in the Middle With You."
For the most part, Tornado fans have felt that over the past 10 years or so their team has largely been stuck in the middle with a program that had difficulty finding the next gear. After a promising 2012 campaign under new Head Coach Steve Reynolds which included a trip down Baker Street that provided hope, we can all look forward with optimism for the pathway ahead.