That was the word 11-year-old Quinn Sigismond used to describe how he felt after his last game of the season in the fifth- and sixth-grade Doak Walker football league.
And, with good reason, because he and his teammates had just completed an undefeated season.
The Bengals won Tuesday’s Doak Walker championship game against the Hayden Tigers, 30-12, leaving them with a 7-0 season.
“Actually, I was kind of hoping we wouldn’t be the undefeated guys coming in, just because it’s so much pressure on the kids, but it turned out great,” Bengals co-coach Billy Bingham said. “The kids came out and played a wonderful game.”
The win was a hard-fought one, as both teams played fiercely from the start. Even with a turnover for each team early in the game, they finished the first quarter tied at 0.
The Bengals made their move with a double reverse to 10-year-old Tristen Walls, giving them their first touchdown.
But, Tigers quarterback Isaac Maestas, 11, was not willing to let that go unanswered.
After a booming Bengals kickoff that almost reached the end zone, Maestas scooped up the ball and ran almost the length of the field to get the Tigers their first score.
The Bengals led 14-6 at halftime, when Bingham and co-coach Mark Balderston gave their players a pep talk.
“Can we do this?” Bingham asked of his team. “I think we can.”
The message came in loud and clear for 10-year-old running back Alex Nevarez, who scored two touchdowns, the second of which came after an interception by Sigismond.
“We did awesome,” Nevarez said. “We all had teamwork and defense.”
Maestas had the last score of the game in the fourth quarter, but the clock ran out before Hayden could make a move for a comeback.
“Hayden played tremendously,” Bingham said. “They’re a good team, they play good defense. It just worked out for us.”
None of the Bengals were more excited than Bingham and Balderston once the final whistle blew and the team rushed together for a victory huddle.
For Balderston, the victory was just the icing on the cake for a season in which he had seen his boys work hard and learn.
“It’s a good venue, it’s a good activity for the kids,” Balderston said of the Doak Walker league. “We try to do a little more than just teaching them football. It’s about teaching them about class, sportsmanship and how to work together as a team
“Out of those life skills they can take with them are to never get down and always do your best because that’s all you can ever do. Just leave it on the field, and don’t have any regrets, ever.”