The Boys of Fall

ryan liston, reporter

A nearly undefeated football season ended on November 16 with a 48-21 loss to Shawnee Mission West. However, senior Kyle McFarland still feels that the season was a success.

“We had a successful season,” McFarland said, “We did good, but that last game wasn’t how we wanted it to end . . . We got hit in the mouth quick last game and didn’t respond.”

Senior Corban Schmidt agrees.

“Even though [the season] ended early it was pretty successful,” he said.

Coach Bob Lisher felt that the season exceeded expectations.

“These guys surprised us with some of the stuff they did do, some of the success they had,” Coach Lisher said. “Our season was a great success, other than the fact that we didn’t quite get as far as we wanted to get. When you look back we had a lot of accomplishments that we can be proud of.”

In preparation for games, the football team watched tapes of the opposing team’s games and shifted their game plan depending on whether the opposing team was mainly a running or throwing team.

Mondays and Tuesdays, the team would practice with all of their gear on. Wednesdays and Thursdays, they only wore shoulder pads and helmets.

Monday was defense day, Tuesday was offensive day, Wednesday was an overview day, and Thursday was a run through. Friday was game day.
Before games, the team sat quietly in the locker room, waiting to begin.

“We’re really not allowed to do very much in the locker room,” junior Joe Dineen said. “We’re supposed to stay quiet, and we’re not supposed to listen to our iPods. We’re actually not even supposed to talk, so pretty much we just sat there.”

While the players waited in the locker room while fans waited just as anxiously in the stands. When the football team took the field, the spectators jumped up and down, cheering for their favorite players.

Choruses of “I believe that we will win” spread like a virus throughout the entire student section. Many students often came dressed in outrageous ways; some fans wore gorilla costumes, squeezed into spandex “Superfan Suits”, and stripped down to their paint covered chests, even during the coldest of games.

“[Getting pumped up] kind of just comes to you,” McFarland said. “We’re pretty quiet in the locker room, but once you walk out before the game time you’re already pretty pumped up and ready to go.”

Schmidt said his favorite part of the season was being able to play with his friends. His family and coaches also pushed him throughout the season. McFarland, on the other hand, enjoyed victory the most.

“[My favorite memories were] when we beat LHS and Shawnee Mission East just because they were both good teams,” McFarland said, “and then the students rushed the field.”

The team’s success came from hard work in practice, good coaching, and talented underclassmen stepping up. There was also a strong bond among teammates this season.

“This year, compared to last year, we seemed a lot closer to each other,” Dineen said, “We all were friends with each other and that just helped the team bonding.”

Dineen said teammates would spend their time outside of practice hanging out, going to parties, and watching opposing team’s games.

“We’ll hang out with each other and it helps to be friends with the people on your team,” he said. “. . . We were just a group.”

Lisher also noticed the strong camaraderie on the team.

“The chemistry of our team has been very good,” he said. “Our guys get along well, they like playing hard for each other, they like playing hard for the school; they’re just very fun guys to be around.”

He also mentioned that the team had little problems due to a will to work and get better.

Dineen also commended the coaches for their perpetual support with special recognition for the coach who has motivated him the most.

“The coaches do a great job of motivating all the players,” he said, “But for me, personally, I’d probably say Coach Obi, Coach Oberzan [motivated me most] . . . Before the games he really got me fired, ready to play.”

Coach Oberzan’s impassioned speeches in the locker room got the team prepared for the game. Every week he would have something new to inspire the players to perform well.

Saying farewell to the seniors isn’t easy for Dineen and Lisher.

“I’m going to miss our seniors,” Lisher said, “I’m going to miss this team in general because it will never be the same team again . . . We appreciate what the seniors did, and we’re going to try and improve on what they did and make them proud of us next year.”