“Taking Small Steps”: Varsity Football Makes Progress vs. Northgate
September 13, 2019
Enervated, yet determined the hawks enter the fourth quarter down by 28 points. The pressure increases, along with the desire to score. It was only in the final quarter of the game where our hawks were able to come together as a team and score two touchdowns just under the wire.
Last Friday against the Northgate Broncos, the varsity football team, unfortunately, received their third consecutive loss of the season, ending the game 14-28.
Assistant Varsity Coach and Defensive Coordinator, Paul Dulik says, “We had some fundamental breakdowns, things that we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks that we saw today also, but they are coachable and fixable situations.”
“I think in the beginning it was hard for us on offense,” says #8, quarterback Marcus Rylea-Perry. Ten minutes within the first quarter, the Broncos managed to score their first touchdown, proving that the game would be an uphill battle. He adds on, mentioning how “defense and offense were pulling it together towards the end of the game… a little too late but we managed to pull everything together”.
“Every Game we take bigger steps and play more as a team, and if we keep doing that we’re going to get there eventually,” says #80, Senior Tevin Grant. Grant lead the defensive team that night with 12 total tackles – 7 solos and 5 assists. “Teams are starting to have a tougher time scoring on us,” says Coach Dulik, “We’re starting to get some players back and really starting to come together as a team. We just have to get that win on the board and I think that’ll really change things.”
It was very clear that the defensive team played an indispensable role against Northgate. “Shout out to the defense,” says #8, “they were playing really good the whole game.”
This loss will surely serve as a measure for the team to assess and build off of to better prepare for future games. Coach Dulik states how, “A lot of work with the guys is done during the week, [like] breaking down different segments of teams that we’re playing and [the team is] starting to get those ideas. It’s in their head. We’re trying to get to the point where instead of thinking, we have to react. We saw that today, we kind of knew what we were doing but we didn’t react fast enough and that is what we have to take forward.”
#42, Viliami Pulete says, “We’re getting better every game. We’ve been practicing twice as hard every week. A loss is a loss but we’re here to improve.” Pulete serves as the team’s offensive running back, being one of the players that scored a touchdown during the final quarter. “I did that all for my teammates,” he adds, “Even Issac at the top. I can’t quit on my team. Its ride or die.”
We’re taking small steps. We’re getting better on offense every day and better on defense.”
— #8, Marcus Relyea-Perry(QB)
Going forward, Grant explains how “[the team] did a decent job, but we have to play four quarters. We can’t just come out and play one quarter and a couple of downs – we gotta play hard the whole game.”
For some further insight into coaching preparation, Coach Dulik illustrates how “Friday game nights are like chess games. You have to adjust to what they have, and try and figure out what the other coach is going to throw at you and you have to make the right moves. So during the game, we have to make those changes. That’s the part of the game that we as coaches have to improve on.”
“One thing about the team,” states Coach Dulik on a final note, “you can’t say this team quits. They played right to the end. I know Coach Gravier really challenged the boys at half time and at the end of the game talked to me about how they rose to the occasion.”
Without a doubt, the first home game of the season not only served as an exhibition of skill but also as a display of fortitude and spirit.
Next game: Friday, September 13th @7: 00 PM vs. Galena HS (@Galena)