After the monumental storming of the field by the Red Sea following the victory over Wesview in the playoffs last year, boys football wants to fight for that same intensity again. Acquiring new teammates and even a new senior, the 2014 varsity squad has a whole new dynamic.
“We’re not so dependent on that one big star on the team,” senior captain Nathan Dunford said. “It’s more like a bunch of average players working together as one.”
One sticky factor holding the team together is the fact that a lot of them have been playing together for four years, on and off the field.
“We have to be one solid team, basically family,” Dunford said. “Most of the upperclassmen, we consider ourselves brothers. You’ll see us around campus hanging out. Being together and tight-knit is super important.”
However, this inseparable band of brothers can seem overwhelming for a new player joining late in the game. Senior Brandon Cory is new to MC this year, joining the varsity football team in August as a new player and student.
“It’s a little bit intimidating being a new senior on the team,” Corey said, “but it’s definitely fun. This team definitely has a lot more talent than teams I’ve played on in the past.”
In addition to the skills of the varsity team, it also has a lot of youth as well. The official roster accounts for 29 juniors and two sophomores, with only 24 seniors on the varsity team.
“We’re definitely a younger team,” Corey said. “It’s ok though, with experience comes skill.”
While the returning veterans work with the new varsity rookies, it may take some time before they are completely ready.
“It’s good and bad to have a younger team,” Dunford said. “We’re not as mature as we were last year, and the seniors know how to act and how it’s going to be, but the younger guys not so much. They have some growing up to do, but it’ll come with time.”
So far this season has started off 0-2, with a loss to Eastlake 7-0 a couple weeks ago, and a tough loss of 21-17 at home to Olympian this past Friday, August 29.
Even with an ambulance-calling injury occurring in the second play of the game to an Olympian player, the Sundevils couldn’t overcome the Eagles. The injury was a minor setback for the Eagles offense.
There were many shimmering slivers of hope throughout the game, like several fumble recoveries by the boys in red, as well as Lucas Johnson’s 40 rushing yards, one of those rushes resulting in a touchdown.
Junior Jake Cater stepped in as kicker when Dunford had to bow out early in the third quarter with an injury. He managed to rack up three points for the Sundevils with a field goal in the second half to put us ahead of the Eagles.Photo by Marianna Mcmurdock
Even with an unfortunate start, our Sundevils have the entire season to prove themselves and work together. The sign Senior Dakota Jones held up as the team came out of the tunnel after halftime clearly defines this year’s varsity team: Family.