It's been the same old song for West Virginia State coach Earl Monroe and he is getting tired of the melody.
Monroe watched as his Yellow Jackets played toe-to-toe with defending West Virginia Conference champion Concord on Saturday only to see another close loss, this time a 23-16 setback.
"The kids played hard, but gosh, we keep making the same mistakes over and over,'' lamented Monroe, whose team fell to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in the league. "It's a lack of concentration and it's getting frustrating. We had opportunities to win the game and you've got to take advantage and seal the deal.''
State drove to the Concord 28-yard line with 49 seconds left, but a personal foul penalty on the Yellow Jackets moved the ball back to the 43 and the threat died. Last year, State suffered four losses by a touchdown or less en route to a 1-9 mark.
"Too many times we've let teams off the hook,'' said Monroe, whose team snapped a six-game losing streak earlier this season.
"That's why every play is so important. You've got to pay attention to detail. We should have won that football game [against Concord]. Now, you are being congratulated for being close, but nobody wants to hear that. They're going to remember wins and losses. There's only two columns.''
Monroe said unlike most teams in the conference he doesn't have the luxury of sitting down a player after a series of mistakes.
"The problem is we just don't have the depth to just sit those folks down,'' he said. "We try to get them out of there and make them realize that they've got to concentrate every play. We just don't have that depth to get that rotation.
"We're just trying to teach them. That's what hurts so bad. Not that we're getting outplayed, it's even tougher when you're close and you look at the film and you're one step away. That's on me as the head coach and D coordinator. That's our job to make sure the guys are learning it.''
Monroe said effort hasn't been a problem.
"I think sometimes effort made up for some of the mistakes,'' he said. "Now, we've go to increase that effort and eliminate those big mistakes at key times and try to get some wins put together.''