They tuck it away and refuse to talk about it or dwell on it. But then there come times when that approach is scratched.
Oxford coach Wes Brooks has gone the way of the latter, making much of this season about redemption for the trials of 2008.
After winning 27 games, Oxford failed to make the postseason, finishing third in its area.
This year, while not yet matching that lofty win total, the Jackets have accomplished a bigger goal: the third round of the Class 6A playoffs.
Oxford (23-12) is slated to take on top-ranked Grissom on Tuesday in Huntsville. The three-game series, originally set to begin Friday, was pushed back due to the swine flu epidemic, which had cases in Huntsville schools.
The Alabama High School Athletic Association will make a final determination of the state of all sporting events on Monday with a 9 a.m. conference call with its medical advisory board.
"(Brooks) reminded us about that feeling," Kyle O'Dell said. "What it was like sitting in that dugout.
"This year we want to come away with something for us seven seniors. … and wanted to do more than just get to the playoffs."
Oxford survived a first-round series with Clay-Chalkville in three games. In the second round, the Yellow Jackets swept Hewitt-Trussville. Now, what stands in the Yellow Jackets' path to the semifinals is a powerful Grissom squad with a 37-4 record and the second-most wins in the state.
And that's where redemption comes in again.
Early in the season, Oxford traveled to Huntsville to take on Grissom. The Yellow Jackets led 8-3 going into the bottom of the sixth inning only to see that lead slip away and fall 9-8.
"We didn't have a lot of varsity experience," Judd Edwards said. "Those guys have gotten over those jitters, and it's come together."
Since then, Oxford went on to win the Calhoun County tournament, knocking off fellow playoff teams as Alexandria and Saks, which is still alive in Class 4A.
Oxford has won 12 of its past 15 games to advance to its current position.
"Our defense faltered early, in those first 10 games," O'Dell said. "We've matured a lot since then. For that to happen now, it would really be out of character."
Third baseman John Juricich said he feels the team is playing "10 times" better than they were earlier in the season, and with that, they must embrace that and approach the game with an attitude reflective of their play.
"It's not about being cocky," he said. "It's about being confident."