story by kirsten arnoult and michaela baker
As the crisp breeze jolts fans to their feet, the players line up anxiously awaiting the kickoff of what could be the last game of the season for the Silver Foxes.
“[Competition is] as always tough. Win or go home. We have to have our best game from here on out,” wide receiver coach Johnakin Montgomery said.
Coaches and players both have said playoffs are the games that count and aren’t like regular games, where there is one every week. Once they lose, they’re out.
“Every game is like a new season,” offensive coach Douglas Rivers said. “You enjoy it for the weekend but then you go back to work.”
With each and every playoff round the competition changes with the teams that make it. Each team offers different ranks and challenges.
“I’m going to say, [the competition is] tough but the team we have we should be able to dominate the competition,” junior wide receiver Julian Heyward said.
Each game brings mistakes to be made.
“[Our biggest setback is] ourselves not our competition. It’s the mistakes we make not the other team that makes mistakes that will set us back,” sophomore offensive lineman Spencer Smith said.
With hard work, the championship could be in their favor.
“Everyone would be speechless. Everything we worked for would come true and it would pay off,” sophomore offensive lineman Montel Smith said.
The players look forward to making it into the championship, but they can’t let their state title make them any less motivated. Every game is different.
“We got to take it week by week, game by game, practice by practice,” senior kicker Graham Jermstad said.
As the number two seed in the 4A state championship, seeding in playoffs just shows the playing from the season.
“Your seating doesn’t affect how you should play it’s just an award for the regular season. It is definitely motivation. The other team always feels like they have something to prove” Rivers said.
Dutch Fork has never won a championship in all of the football history here.
“I think it would be awesome to win, to write the history books and to set the record at Dutch Fork,” Spencer said.
Underclassmen have risen above in football this year. A lot of underclassmen have broken records and set school records. Matthew Coulburn set the the record for most rushing yards and carries, Rivers said.
“It gives up a big head at first once we are ranked so high but every game shouldn’t let it get to our head. Play every game the same and shouldn’t let it get to us,” sophomore running back Matthew Coulburn said. “I just keep myself humble and keep doing what I’m doing.”
Football thrives on support. Support from not only coaches and teammates but also from fans.
“We love the great support from fans and would like to see the stands full,” Montgomery said. “History is being made and we might win the championship,”