Varsity Football, Playoffs and the Team

The football field’s frozen grass is flooded with light, illuminating the  busy field. Enthusiastic shouts fill the air, drifting off into the dark distance. Below the energetic crowd lies the West Johnston varsity football team, passionately competing in another game.

This season’s playoffs begin November 14. There are five rounds of games until the state championship. Intense training and an effective coaching program led the football team to playoffs this year, with a record of 7 wins and 2 losses.

“I enjoy football because it’s fun. I like the family bond the guys create with each other throughout the years. We know how to come back when we’re down and when we’re losing. We play as a team,” said active member of the Varsity team Mikia Jacobs

The team has 9 different coaches to ensure strong defense, offense and player positioning. The coaches are just as dedicated as the team, organizing drills, creating plays and lifting team spirit.

“Yes, we have strong leadership. We get leadership from our senior captains. The coaches are Jimmy Williams, as well as other assistant coaches,” said Varsity player Jowann Holder.

Football, known as one of the more physical sports, tends to leave a lot of athletes sitting on the bench. Injuries are to be expected when playing such a passionate sport.

“We actually have about one injury per game,” Holder said.

The team practices for roughly 3 hours 5 days a week.

“We’re really small in numbers, so if you’re on the field, you’re there the entire game. Football is a very time consuming sport, and if you’re playing football you have to have a lot of dedication,” Holder said.

Leadership, game strategy and practice drills have changed a lot over the years. It has changed the way the team competes.

“The team has grown better because we’ve finally learned how to finish a game. Usually we either start late and try to come back and win. But now, we start and finish a complete game to get the victory,” Holder said.

Friday night football games are more attended than any other sport. Win or lose, the season will wind down shortly, as it’s becoming too cold to play.

“I think we’ve gotten better by just growing as a team and getting closer to one another and knowing how we play,” said Jacobs.