Categorized | Features, Sports

Winning Isn’t Everything

Jonas Hodgins, Grayson Burns, Jake Wagner, Dillon Overstreet, and Sonet Gandhi show their school spirit with their Roll Giants flag.

Jonas Hodgins, Grayson Burns, Jake Wagner, Dillon Overstreet, and Sonet Gandhi show their school spirit with their Roll Giants flag.

By Emily Kratzer, Classroom Manager

After losing to Stuarts Draft for nine years, the boys on the Varsity Football team were very happy to bring home the trophy and the win on September 12th 2014. According to the NBC29 article “With a New Coach, Waynesboro High School Plans to Turnaround Struggling Program,” (Aug. 2001) the team hasn’t had a winning season since 1999 and haven’t won three games in a season since 2001.

Instead of spending the bus ride home quiet and full of disappointment, the team got to spend time celebrating and full of excitement and happiness.

“It feels good that our team and me playing on the team won the trophy after a long time. It feels like history,” senior Michael Brown said. “Waynesboro is going to be a better team; there’s no doubt this year, next year, and years from now. Waynesboro will be a better team than they’ve ever been. I’m sad to say it’s my last year–wish I could stick around and keep going.”

It’s no secret that Waynesboro High School’s football team has struggled over the years. The team has had few wins–only one game last year, but they have gradually gotten better as a team, winning over Stuarts Draft 35-10 on Sept. 12th and over Spotswood 34-21 on Sept. 26th. The big difference in the football teams execution this year was playing the game as if it were four quarters instead of two halves.

“We played four quarters which means a lot,” said junior Cody Dawson, “We normally would hang our head when something goes wrong, but at the Stuarts Draft game we kept going at the next play. We picked each other up.” Junior Cesar Ruiz added, “At Draft we played every quarter with everything we had.”

Another difference in the way the team played was in their defense. “Defense stepped up and started making tackles and that’s what we’ve been missing,” said senior Zac Becker. “Now that defense is playing better we should have a better chance at winning.”

According to the players, it feels good when the football team comes home with a win, but that’s not what matters. The relationships they’ve gained is like no other; it’s irreplaceable. Players Cody Dawson (11th), Cesar Ruiz (11th), Daniel Everidge (10th), and Michael Brown (12th), all described their team and coaches as family. “We look out for each other. We have good times, “said Ruiz. “I think we’re just like a family–sometimes you argue, sometimes you don’t. But that’s how a team is, if you’re gonna treat it like a family, you’re gonna argue, you’re gonna fight, you’re gonna have good times, and you’re gonna have bad times. And that’s just how it is.”

The boys have also learned valuable lessons from being on the team and from their coaches. Senior Michael Brown said he’s learned there’s “no I in team.”Dawson, Ruiz, and Everidge said they’ve learned determination and that you have to work for your position on the team.

“You have to have respect for other players and coaches, that’s something Coach Mac has always told us,” said Becker. Senior Josh Cañares added that he’s learned about earning other’s respect and not quitting when times get tough.

In an interview with The News Virginian, Coach Moran said, “”I will say our guys have been gaining confidence from day one. They aren’t used to winning like this so it is nice. We haven’t really been here. We just have to harness it and keep it in perspective.”

The students at Waynesboro High School have always been very supportive of the team, but, they have stepped up tremendously this year, having spirit days on Friday’s before the game and including a student section for Pep Club at games. Friday’s are now full of excitement and support for the team and the stands are packed at games. It’s noticeable that this year the school has come together to be the biggest support system to the football players.

At the end of the day, winning everything–not to the players or to the school.

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