When a season ends, it takes time to be able to look back without a little bit of pain. Of course the Ragin’ Cajuns would love to still be playing baseball, but that’s not how the game ended.

Tony Robichaux molds boys into men. His message to his team after being eliminated from the playoffs at home by Arizona was full of wisdom acquired from years of coaching a game full of failures.

“I told the players after the game this is going to hurt, and the reason it’s going to hurt is because we want more, and our bar is set very high. We want a win a national championship, and to do that, you have to get to a super regional, and we didn’t do that, so it hurts,” Robichaux said. He added. “Another reason why it hurts is because you worked so hard and wanted it real bad, but a lot of times in life, just like our in our personal lives, it’s just not God’s will.”

The Lafayette Regional didn’t end the way they wanted it to, but baseball is a cruel game. Only one team gets to end their season on a win, but everyone aside from the national champion has to walk off the field with the bitter taste of a loss. It’s why baseball isn’t for babies, and champions typically have some scars to show.

Coach Robichaux’s players will need time to get over the pain and see the success they created this season. I use the word “create” because wins without will and effort. Talent isn’t enough to get by in college baseball.

“Sweat equity” is a term Coach Robe uses all the time. His teams put it into their program every day. They sweat in the Louisiana sun for the pride of their university and their family, and they still humble themselves in front of a higher power.

Willpower takes time to forge, and “sweat equity” is accrued over months of toil. Coach Robe looked all the way back to the fall when thinking about the 2016 season.

“In August, they took the courage enough to get out here and flip four hundred pound tractor tires in the sand in the morning, with no guarantee, and they took on a professional challenge,” Robichaux said. “It didn’t work out, but in life when you take on a professional challenge, you grow from it. They didn’t run from it. They didn’t back down from it.”

Boxing and mixed martial artists don’t have a monopoly on fight sports. Coach Robe wants his players to attack the game of baseball with a fighting mentality, even if the opponent is a bull.

Break out the Book of Robe and add another chapter.

“We didn’t get that last game in like we wanted to, but I’ve always said this. Sometimes when you’re going to get down in the arena and fight with the bull, you’re going to get the horn, but if you don’t want the horn, easiest thing to do is sit in the bleachers and not get down in the arena and fight. The one thing I’m proud about them is they decided to fight. I’ve always told them I have a lot of horn marks, but the honor is that is that we went down in the arena and we fought the bull.”

There’s a lot to digest from Tony Robichaux’s final press conference of the 2016 season. He talks about the MLB Draft and his players’ plans for the summer. He assesses losing leadership on the field and in the clubhouse, along with possible replacements and alpha dogs left on the roster. He even goes as far as giving a slight scouting report on incoming talent from the JuCo ranks and beyond. Coach Robichaux touched on topics, but he made sure to talk about his seniors.

In one of many thought-provoking moments from his final performance in front of the microphone for the 2016 season, Robe gave a sliver of the message he delivered to his departing bullfighters.

“We met with all the seniors today to tell them thank you, that we love them, that our love is not connected to them conditionally over if they win or lose, and make sure that they know they’re in the Ragin’ Cajuns family for life,” Robichaux said in a fatherly fashion.

The 2016 baseball season is over, but the memories are going to start coming back as the wounds heal. Next year promises another year with high expectations, but it wouldn’t be another year under Coach Robe if the bar wasn’t set as high as possible.

(By the way, all those quotes just came from the first five minutes of his presser...there is more perspective on the 2016 season...)