By Sophie Haber ’19 and Alisha Sahi ’19
Football teams at both the upper and middle school campuses have been working to incorporate an influx of new players. This year, the football program is smaller than in years past, so the JV and varsity teams have been combined as have the seventh and eighth grade teams. By only having one team on each campus, there is now a greater number of players on each, so it has been a challenge to become cohesive when mixing in new players with players who have already worked together in past seasons.
During practice, football players not only go over plays or “runs” for the upcoming games, they also condition and work strenuously to be healthy and strong for the rest of the season. According to varsity safety Kyle Hearlihy ’19, this conditioning is crucial to their well being throughout the months they play.
The varsity team practices six days a week, and are coached by program head Scot Ruggles, associate head coach/offensive coordinator Joe Maiale, and varsity assistant Patrick Cartmil.
“I like our coach [Ruggles] this year. He treats us like men. I feel like he prepares us well for each match and doesn’t just teach us lessons for football, but lessons for life,” Hearlihy said.
This season, the team hopes to grow both individually and collectively as athletes and students. They currently have an overall record of 3-2 and have not yet competed in any league games. Players say they hope to win as many games as possible throughout the season. In the end, they want to win the CIF finals in December.
“From football, I have learned responsibility and trust that I can carry on with me in my upcoming years in high school,” linebacker Josh Johnson ’19 said.
The middle school team is working on learning and perfecting their skills every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. With a balance of experienced and new players, head coach Scott Wood and assistant coaches Vic Eumont, Mike Daniels and Ramez Tohme are working to help the players with their technique, focusing on speed, agility and defense.
“I think learning to tackle to the right with your head up, and all of the plays and formations are the hardest things we’re doing right now,” wide receiver Bennett Markinson ’21 said.
This year, the main differences in the middle school program are that there is now one combined seventh and eighth grade team rather than two separate teams and that there are many more teams in the league whom they compete against. They currently have a record of 4-0, and hope to go on to win the Delphic League Championship in the beginning of November.
“This season our goal is obviously to win the championship. I think we might have a good chance at that this year,” running back Jake Kelly ’20 said.