Silver linings are supposed to be a positive outlook on what is otherwise a less than desired result, and when your goal is gold, finding silver leaves you with a sense of melancholy in the moment.

However, there is clarity that comes shortly after heartbreak, especially when it comes to sports.

While the pit still sits in your stomach and the pain is still fresh, the clarity allows you to be retrospective and introspective, all the while knowing that there is a chance to grow and build.

Those feelings came in waves less than an hour after the Teton women's basketball team's loss in the Region XIII championship game.

If you are looking for a recap, a breakdown, or bemoaning about what could have been.  The best way to move forward after suffering a loss that is more than just a loss on the scoreboard is to appreciate what was.

Coming into this season, there was excitement for the fresh faces that comprised both teams in green and white. It was quickly apparent that not only were these teams made up of exceptional athletes, but they were also made up of fantastic human beings.

While the women's team was instantly the toast of the conference, the men's team faced an uphill battle to find their way and their place in a deep and talented conference.

In the last half of the season, the men found something that clicked with them: playing inspired basketball, playing together as a team, and even when it didn't go their way, they did the next best thing that a team could do: leave it all out on the floor.

The season ended for the men in a whirlwind of a week, claiming their best and most complete game of the year to close out the regular season, to a gut wrenching loss at home in a regional play-in game.

While that season was cut short, there was a sense of optimism about what was to come next year. It feels somewhat uncomfortable looking forward to what is to come so close to the sophomores finishing up their careers for the Tetons. However, it is the nature of the beast, and a pill that you are forced to swallow.

The women's team were dynamos on the court. Even when they didn't have their best stuff, they found ways to win. With every win, confidence continued to grow within the team itself. It wasn't just that this group of young women were talented; they were unselfish.

from very early on in the season, seemed to be a team of destiny. Therein lies the danger of thinking about destiny, what is meant to be, or fate...

That's not how this works.

My heart breaks for the team (especially the sophomores), coaches, fans, and parents in coming up with what will be felt as being short of potential. Admittedly, there was a selfish desire to keep the ride going for as long as possible to call games on bigger and bigger stages for a team that I was deeply emotionally invested in.

The caliber of both teams on and off the court is a testament to the individual players themselves, their families, as well as the coaching staff, who not only brought in great people but have fostered a great culture that any young athlete would be proud to be a part of.

This was intended to be a letter of gratitude to the Tetons for allowing myself as well as the radio station to once again present them to the greater world, but it has unsurprisingly devolved into a rambling mess as the throes of defeat still linger.

In lieu of more platitudes and woulda coulda shoulda's, I'll just state it plainly.

Thank you, Williston State, coaches, staff, players, and fans, for allowing me to be on another wild ride and to be a small part of your lives through this insanely fun season.

While the year isn't done with Teton baseball and softball 24 days away (but who is counting?), I will have the privilege to continue to tell the story of the Tetons.

It's a story that is both a pleasure and an honor to tell.

While it's not yet written in the starts whether or not I will get the privilege to call Teton basketball next season...

Desperately, hopefully.

Until next time, Teton Fans,

Thank you.

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