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Faith Flames don’t dwell on loss as they look to next year

Faith Academy Flames football

The Faith Academy Flames six-man football team lost 54-6 to Denton Calvary on November 16 in Groesbeck in a first-round Division I playoff game of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. The Flames end the season with a record of 6-5. File photo by Stennis Shotts

Minutes after the Faith Academy of Marble Falls football team’s season ended in a 54-6 loss to Denton Calvary on November 16 in the first round of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools playoffs, the Flames were already talking about 2020.

Head coach Stephen Shipley said he liked what he heard:

“‘We’re not going to do this next year,’” he recalled hearing. “The kids were very emotional, very upset, which was encouraging. The young ones were ready to start work for next year.”

The Flames’ (6-5, 2-3 Six-man Division I, District 2) lone touchdown was courtesy of a run by senior Colby Offutt.

Faith could have scored more, but the Flames threw three interceptions in the end zone and had a total of four interceptions in the contest.

“We’d move the ball from the 20-yard line to the 20-yard line and just couldn’t punch it in,” Shipley said.

Calvary (7-3, 4-2 Six-man Division I, District 1) had a combination of play that was difficult to overcome, he added.

“They were the most physical team we played this season,” he said. “(Calvary head coach Denver Bowden) said that was by far the best game they played all year. They had their stud running back back after missing three games. They had seniors who had been together for four years with the same offense and the same defense.”

The coach is happy for the players and the school to have a winning football season for the first time since the 2013 season when the Flames went 10-1 overall.

“Everybody else is excited for the future: the positive teamwork, the buy-in,” he said. “The kids are willing to work and are excited about the offseason and spring ball.”

Shipley said the Flames will participate in spring football drills in full pads, summer conditioning, and either 6-on-6 or 7-on-7 leagues to work on the passing game.

“We’re going to start working throughly and not wait until two-a-days (that start in August),” he said. “Those kids now are bought in and want to be a part of a winning program. We saw what we could do when we play well.”