It seemed impossible. Flint Powers High School started off their seaon 2-4, and just suffered through a 1-8 season over a year ago. Macauley Rybar, a senior offensive guard and captain of the team wasn't going down without a fight.
They believed and did the impossible - coming back to win the State Championship. They beat Lansing Catholic Central in the final 56 to 26, a team that they lost earlier, 17 to 37.
I got a chance to ask Macauley some questions about the season, and his words speak for themselves.
When you started the season out 2 and 4, what did you think?
After the first game against Saginaw Nouvel when we got blown out, I had thoughts of “Oh my, a repeat of last season, here we go again…”
However, during the Lansing Catholic Central game, we improved as a team, and I had hope for the season. After the crazy storm the night of Davison, during the bus ride home after the loss, I thought, “This is it. We have to win out to make the playoffs.” The whole team played with a sense of urgency to get the job done. We knew that if we made it into the playoffs it was a completely new season. We worked together to make that happen.
What brought about that drastic change in the seventh game?
To be honest, I don’t believe it was a drastic change. The whole team just had a “our backs are against the wall” mentality and we knew that we had to produce in that moment if in the end we wanted to achieve our goal of making the playoffs.
We played our hearts out collectively, and we were able to keep in check one of the best athletes in the state in Shane Barron from Carman Ainsworth. We played together completely as a team and knew that it was step one of accomplishing our goals.
How has this season affected your life?
This season affected me in more ways that I could ever believe. First of all, I learned to set goals for myself.
In our winter workouts before the season, we always chanted “states” for state championship when the workout was complete. I thought it was crazy to say then, but I believe if we hadn’t have had that goal for ourselves from the beginning we never would have won the state title.
I also learned the importance of brotherhood and unity. A group of young men became brothers through the season when they all had the determination to accomplish a single goal. I learned to never, never, give up. When you are faced with challenging situations, the strong of heart rise up and have the will to succeed. Extraordinary people do extraordinary things because they refuse to be ordinary, and that is what the team did.
We refused to be mediocre and we only accepted greatness for ourselves. I have learned to have trust in both God and others because if you trust, you will allow great things to happen in your life.