EVAN REN: Hamlin will fully appreciate its state experience

While sitting in the postgame news conference following Hamlin’s 25-20 loss to Mart on Thursday, I half expected the Pied Pipers to arrive with coach Russell Lucas barely able to speak. 

They had just given the defending state champions all they wanted and could very well have dethroned the Panthers, had it not been for four turnovers. They had every reason to show up stone-faced and heartbroken — like so many other losing teams at state we’ve seen in the past.

That’s understandable. 

Nobody goes to state with the goal of finishing second. And after 16 straight weeks of sweating blood, it’s difficult to get your emotions to turn on a dime. 

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