Varsity Football v. Skyline High School: Varsity football plays in first round of playoffs

Kathleen Shaffer, Staff Writer

Their cleats will dig into the field of Gerald J. Ford Stadium on Friday Nov. 16 for the first time. The varsity football team will play in the first round of playoffs against District 9-5A school, Skyline High School. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

The football team continued working together despite some losses during the season, and after beating Plano East with a final score of 42-12, the team secured their spot in the playoffs.

“We did so well against East and found out that we made playoffs, that was a good Friday,” senior wide receiver Anthony Antwine said. “I felt ecstatic when they said we were gonna get to go. The last time we were in the playoffs I wasn’t able to play in the game, so for me being able to actually play in a playoff game, I couldn’t wait.”

The game against Allen gave the football team a confidence boost after coming close to beating a team with a record of 9-1. Senior Jourdan Escobar said that even though the team wasn’t able to win in all of the games, the losses have helped the team for the upcoming game.

“We’ve really bonded over the past couple of games,” Escobar said. “The Allen game really brought us together. We can overcome adversity in several aspects of the game, and we’ve come back from a tough loss and bounced back the next week. It’s definitely going to be tough, they’re ranked very high in the area, but based on the Allen game if everything comes together we have a really strong chance.”

Antwine has been involved with the football program since he was a freshman and said that the relationships and memories he has made this year will be something he can reflect on in the future.

“Hanging out with these guys and playing on the field with all your best friends is something we’re not going to have when we get older,” Antwine said. “We’re not going to be able to have the same friendships; just to have that and go through this with them is something that will be cherished.”

There have been five losses this season, but the team has been working on improving several aspects of the game. Many of the losses have been by just a few points and Escobar, as the kicker for the team, said he has been working on being more consistent in order to make sure he does his part.

“Personally I’ve been doing okay, there have been a couple of games where a kick here or there could have made a big difference,” Escobar said. “That’s on me, so I’ve really been trying during practice to improve on my kicks and stay on point.”

Both Escobar and Antwine commented on the support the team has received this year. The players are not able to hear every word being shouted from the stands, but it helps the players to know they have people on their side.

“I think we all want to say thank you to all of the fans for supporting us through the whole year, through the ups and the downs,” Escobar said. “Especially during the past two games, the West and the Allen game, the students, the parents and the rest of the fans, it’s just huge. The stadium is so loud and crazy, it means a lot to all the players.”

After all the work the team has put in, they are excited to have a chance to play at least one more game together.

“We might not be the biggest or most talented, but we play together, we are a team,” Antwine said. “I don’t think there’s another team that plays with as much heart as we do. We deserve this.”