Football finishes strong
BY MONICA CRAWFORDON NOVEMBER 15, 2013
Homecoming is a game in which players and fans are able to see that all of the blood, sweat, and tears put in by the football players has finally paid off. The Rampants won this year’s homecoming game against the Southern Wayne Saints with a score of 45-12 and completed their regular season undefeated at home with their best record since 2006.
The team had been training hard all week before the game in preparation to play Southern Wayne. Defensive coordinator Coach Bryan Wallen worked with the team in order to ensure that the game would be a success.
“We changed defense a little bit, but we’ve just been practicing as hard as we possibly can to stop certain plays and put people in the right position,” Wallen said. “I just changed who I had in; instead of three linemen, I had five.”
According to junior Billy Luzzi, the players had to ignore the record of Southern Wayne and instead focus on what needed to be done in order to put another win on the board for the Rampants.
“It was us against ourselves this game,” Luzzi said. “We couldn’t look at how bad a team is by their record. We had to work hard and not take anything for granted.”
The team has been working hard all season to turn the football program around, and this game helped make that dream come true for the players and coaches.
“It’s our ninth win,” Wallen said. “We haven’t won nine ball games since 2006, and that was the last year that we won the state championships. If we can win nine or ten ball games in regular season, then we’ve really turned it around.”
With homecoming as potentially the last home game of the season, all of the hard work that was put in during the week in preparation and throughout the entire season finally was worthwhile.
“We all worked really hard,” Luzzi said. “Obviously the score showed how well we did, so our hard work paid off this week.”
Along with the hard work put in at practice, the atmosphere during homecoming week adds to the importance and excitement of the game.
“It’s huge to win homecoming because it’s really exciting during the week at school with everyone talking about the game,” junior Copeland Spell said.
The homecoming game is especially important to the seniors because it could possibly be their last home game at Rose depending on how the playoffs go.
“This game was for the seniors so that we can leave Rose winning,” senior quarterback Khalil Smith said. “It meant a lot to have an undefeated season at home.”
Despite having won the game, homecoming was still bittersweet for some of the players.
“We’ve practiced for months upon months with these guys who are seniors,” Spell said. “They’re like brothers to us, so it is sad that the season is coming to an end.”
This brotherhood and family bond has been something that the players said they have been working to create since the beginning of the season and have improved on throughout the season.
“During the season we’ve become so much more like a family,” Streeter said, “and it just feels so good to win possibly my last home game here at Rose.”