By Emily Gonzalez and Grace Loudon
Eric Jarecki, a sophomore on the JV football team, relies heavily on his teammates for support. “Teamwork is knowing Taylor always has my back,” said Jarecki, referring to one of his teammates.
Now in his second year playing football, Jarecki believes he has learned a lot from his experience in the previous year. According to Jarecki, his favorite thing about playing football is winning and being a quarterback.
Any high school athlete can tell you that being on a team is not easy. Jarecki said success on a team requires leadership and lots of effort. Perhaps most importantly, it requires friends to lean on. “My teammates are my brothers,” he said.
Freshman Xavier Sanchez says he did not know what to expect when he joined the freshman football team, but he soon learned that it was about more than just tackles and plays. “The most important thing about being on a team is leadership,” said Sanchez.
Nearly a month into the new football season, the newly appointed freshman team had to be dismantled. According to Coach Steve Twidwell, former freshman and now JV coach, the team was disassembled because of lack of players, which posed serious safety concerns.
Without nearly enough substitutes, there was no other choice but to dismantle the team. But the former freshman players are now being placed with the rest of the JV team.
The players and coaching staff was disheartened to have to do away with the long-standing squad. “It is unfortunate to lose the freshman team,” said Twidwell.
Not only does the loss of the team propose complications for the players, it poses genuine obstacles for the coaches. Twidwell says that with more players on one team he now has to train the same amount of players all packed into a single team, while only being paid for one team instead of two.
Senior James Lang, a varsity player, has made football a huge part of his life. “I don’t know what it would be like not playing football,” said Lang.
Lang said he was forced into football at the age of seven by his mom, but he eventually learned to love and grow with the sport.
He has been playing for 10 years, and he plans on continuing as he goes off to college, where he hopes to play for either Sacramento or Fresno State University.
Lang explained that the most important part about being on a team is “the connection you make with your teammates.”