You're not usually ready for football season to end, whenever it happens.
That's especially true if it happens in the semifinals of the CIF Northern Section playoffs.
The ride came to an end for both the Gridley Bulldogs and the Biggs Wolverines last Friday night.
Doing this job over the past 30-plus years, I've seen it all: The thrill of victory, and more often than not, the agony of defeat.
I have a lot more fun chronicling the thrill of victory.
But when it comes time to write about the agony of defeat, I can do that too, with my words and thoughts tempered by personal experience.
I remember well the feeling of knowing that when you take off the uniforms that night, it was going to be for the last time.
I remember the tears shed for dreams denied and promises left unfulfilled.
You always linger on the field for a bit longer, trying to hold on to the feeling for a bit longer.
Of course, when you lose on the road, you don't linger for as long as you would if you were at home.
Eventually, you get on the bus and go home. In the quietness of your own locker room, you take off the gear, shower, and go home to be alone with your thoughts.
A few days later, you turn in your gear, and it becomes even more real: It's over.
But the memories remain. The scores of most of these games fade from memory over time.
What sticks with you are the relationships forged - bonds that will endure for a lifetime.
Thanks for the memories, seniors. And underclassmen ... get to work on next year.
On to winter sports!
Contact Gridley Herald sports/news reporter David Vantress at 846-3661, ext. 123 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Teitterr at @dvantressGH.