An undermanned Junior Varsity Football Team remained upbeat in the face of stiff competition this year, finishing the season with a record of one win and three losses.
The team defeated Hackley 6-0 in their season win, and lost to Poly Prep 20-0, and Rye Country Day School twice, 22-8 and 22-14.
With only 10 players on the squad, they must play eight on eight, instead of the standard 11. Most had to play both offense and defense, while the majority of other teams had enough people to allow players to rest during games.
“I was so happy with the improvement we made from the start of the year to the end,” JV Football Coach Ron Beller said. “We wanted to beat players to spots and play fast, and these kids certainly got to that point.”
“On our team, you’re in the entire game, so everyone is gassed,” Jonas Jacobson (10) said. “That’s why at practice you really have to work on your stamina, because during the games there’s no break.”
“We were low on players but we still played our hearts out every game,” Isaac Baez (10) said. “We had a lot of energy every game.”
“The team relied on me to get everyone hyped up for the games,” James Thomas (9) said. “I was able to get everyone’s adrenaline pumping before each game.”
It was the first time some players have ever played high school level football, so it was “interesting to see how they evolve into better players and gain experience and chemistry with the rest of the team, because chemistry is so important in football,” Jacobson said.
Nathan Zelizer (9) hopes to play football every year of high school. “This year was really helpful for me because I got to learn all the fundamentals,” Zelizer said. “I’m hoping to play football every year of high school.”
“I was a leader for the younger guys and really helped them develop as football players and taught them how to be better players physically and in terms of characteristics,” Baez said.
“This year was special because we took on a new role of mentoring the younger kids on Junior Varsity and teaching them how to play.”
The sophomores were great role models because they had more experience, and the freshmen learned a lot from them, Zelizer said.
“At preseason camp the whole football team bonded together, and now we’re all really close on and off the field,” Baez said.
“This team will always hold a special place in my memory because of how much they care for each other, play for each other, and most of all play with heart,” Beller said. “This is one of the toughest groups I have ever coached.”