By Matthew DeGeorge
There’s no explanation needed from Jordan Collins when he utters the phrase, “the Haverford game’ at practice Monday.
With six weeks of hindsight, that fateful Jan. 6 affair has served as the pivot point for Springfield’s season.
It wasn’t the most regrettable of losses — blowing a 22-point lead to Cardinal O’Hara or representing one of just three wins for Strath Haven this season still lead in that category. But the unsightly, 26-25 setback to a scrappy Haverford team that finished on the outside of the District One playoff picture by mere percentage points was the last straw.
From that defeat, which mired the Cougars at 5-6 in what appeared destined to be a random walk of a season, Springfield has authored a 10-2 record. And the Cougars have ridden that wave of success all the way to the District One Class AAAA second round, where Tuesday they will tangle with No. 4 seed Plymouth Whitemarsh.
The mistakes of the past aren’t being dredged up for nostalgia’s sake; they’re an inexorable facet of this team’s fabric. When coach Kevin McCormick says his team isn’t your typical No. 20 seed, it’s not hubris. It’s a reflection of the fact, for a variety of reasons, that Springfield underachieved while struggling for consistency through December.
Those difficulties are squarely in the past now.