Too much of the good that happens in our schools goes unnoticed and unrewarded. One of those good news moments happened during one of this season’s volleyball showdowns between Petaluma and Casa Grande high schools played at Casa Grande.

Before the match, the schools honored Casa Grande sophomore Savannah Sutton for her courage in combating cancer. It should be noted that the match came during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Casa Grande coach Amber Taylor explained that the award was presented to Sutton in recognition of how she has handled her medical problems. It was the first time an award for courage and perseverance had ever been presented to a Casa Grande volleyball player.

“She is constantly smiling and always encouraging the other players,” the coach explained. “She is an inspiration to all of us.”

Taylor tells the story of how Sutton handled a recent scare when she thought her cancer might be returning.

“She came in to see me, tell me the news and say she had to go in for another test,” Taylor said. “What she wanted to ask was, ‘What game should I miss?’ She has that kind of attitude.”

On a much less inspiring subject, the football season is over for area teams. All three local teams — Casa Grande, Petaluma and St. Vincent — lost in the first-round of the North Coast Section playoffs, and all lost by considerable margins.

In fact, the three combined to score just one touchdown in games in three different divisions.

But the real hurt isn’t that they lost. Every team, except one survivor in each division, ends its season with a loss. The hurt isn’t even that all three lost by blowouts, that often happens early in the playoffs when teams are paired with top seeds facing lower seeds, and no local teams were ranked higher than Petaluma’s No. 9 seed in Division 3. That means that none of the three were expected to win.

The real hurt is to the seniors, who realized almost immediately after the games that they had played their final high school football.

There would be no more Friday night lights. There would be no more Monday night practices. There would be no more game films. There would be neither joy of victory nor hurt of defeat.

Most of all, there would be no more teammates. There would be no more shared moments on and off the field. Each senior has a whole life ahead. Some have more football to be played. Some have other high school sports to play. But it will never be the same. Friday or Saturday night, a big part of their lives came to an end. That’s what really hurts.

(Contact John Jackson at