Updated 8:27 p.m.
WINSTON-SALEM -- Garner coach Nelson Smith kept finding somebody to give a hand to. His Trojans had just lost their final game of the 2011 season, the toughest way of all, 35-21 to Greensboro Page in the 4AA state championship game, but the veteran Garner coach just wanted to show his appreciation for their weeks of hard work.
So he applauded them, again and again as they waited for the post-game award presentations to begin.
It was one thing the Trojan players, who lost for just the second time in their last 28 games, probably didn’t really feel like they deserved after falling behind by 21 points, then giving everything they had in a too-short comeback bid. But their veteran coach knew they deserved it.