Playing for Central Cabarrus' football team - which hasn't won a game in two years - was very frustrating for Quintin Gay, arguably the best player on that team.
But the senior said that the experience allowed him to grow.
"I feel that as a step to becoming a man you have to overcome adversity and respond," he said. "I became a leader through that adversity - that's just all I could be able to do."
Gay did a little bit of everything for the Vikings, lining up as wide receiver, quarterback and running back during the season.
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Vikings' head football coach Chris Shinn said that Gay fought until the very end even when his team was down big and that he was basically a coach on the field.
"He knew all the adjustments and knew everything that needed to be done but, most importantly, he kept the kids motivated," Shinn said. "We went through some struggles this year, but he always maintained a positive attitude."
All of Gay's hard work on the field paid off as he attracted the attention of college coaches, who came to watch him shine even though his team didn't.
Gay said he would visit a few colleges in January to try to decide what college to attend before February's National Signing Day. He is considering Western Carolina, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, North Carolina A&T and North Carolina Central.
Shinn said that watching Gay be recruited has been exciting.
"He's the sort of kid who really deserves an opportunity to further himself," the first-year head coach said. "To see him improve over the past four years and get to the point to where he can get to college and play sports is pretty great."
Shinn said that Gay's maturity has allowed him to lead by example.
"You know he's going to give you 110 percent every time he goes out there, and kids see that and draw off of that," he said.
Gay is bringing the same leadership he demonstrated on the gridiron to the hardwood.
"In practice when it's time to run sprints he's the one running the quickest ones, encouraging the other ones to catch up with him," Central Cabarrus basketball coach Brian King said. "When your younger kids see your senior doing that, they'll follow."
Gay, who also is a sprinter for the Vikings' track team, has embraced his status as a leader.
"I'm a veteran basketball player and I've been through a lot of situations that they haven't, so I have to be the voice on the court," he said.
After being the starting shooting guard in last year's 4-19 Viking squad, Gay has accepted a role off the bench this season.
King said he and his staff decided that Gay, who is one of the most physical defenders for the Vikings, would contribute better by providing a spark off the bench. He said Gay was surprisingly agreeable when he was told the news.
"A lot of kids would pout and sulk and say 'I'm a senior; I should start,' but his response was 'Well, that's kind of what I was thinking too,'" King said.
Gay said he had a good feeling about this year's basketball squad, which has already matched last year's four wins in just their first five games.
"This team we have can surprise a lot of people that haven't been worried about us," he said. "We have more natural basketball players, so I'm not even worried about the fact that I'm not a starter."
And it's that unselfishness King said he has grown to admire.
"It just shows that his parents did a great job with him," King said. "To be as humble as he is and to work as hard as he does is special in a kid."