JV football enjoys more personal game

Jackie Nichols

It’s not the Friday night lights that pump up the guys on the JV football team. Unlike the varsity squad the JV players do not get to stand in the spotlight in front of their entire student body; they don’t even get to play on a weekend night.
For them football is more than the cheering Bru Crew, the lights casting their shadows on the turf and the glory of being on varsity. It is the love for the game of football.
“I show up every day because I love football. I would consider the team like a second family to me. I love those guys,” junior Nick Godas said. “Being able to interact with them every day makes my life a lot better. Looking forward to seeing them and playing the game I love is what keeps calling me back.”
Although the players love the game, their motivation does not come easily. Learning what it means to play at another level, or “play like a Bruin” makes getting the flow of the game difficult. But team chemistry and an overall determination to win allows the JV to succeed at  an early stage.
“I would say we are doing really well. With having a young backfield and a freshman running back and a freshman quarterback, there is some confusion. But since our offensive line is doing an outstanding job holding their blocks and keeping us protected, they make it easy on us,” freshman Matt Troyer said. “Of course everyone would like to be undefeated, but I’m really happy with where we are.”
Coach Fuad Khaleel and his staff know this is only the beginning for their young team. During each practice they work on perfecting each player’s skills with a long term goal of someday watching them succeed under the stadium lights.
“Letting [the players] know that [the JV program] is the beginning and varsity is kind of the end, if there’s a beginning and end in high school football,” Khaleel said. “But the beginning is this right here, as far as technique wise, getting their eyes right, just playing and getting comfortable with the game on the field.”
Even though the players on the JV team know there are not as many fans in their section on those weekday nights they know they cannot let it affect their performance on the field.
“When you’re in the game, you don’t really focus on the fans. You focus on your own responsibilities,” Troyer said. “If you don’t stay motivated to achieve them or work hard, then you won’t.”
Even though the team wishes its fans would be more supportive, they push themselves to improve because of their individual passion. Playing with a crowd is only one of the perks the boys look forward to from improving their performance.
“We know that the seniors who have been working here for a long time, they are playing varsity and we come to get better,” sophomore Pen Terry said. “Most of us love it a lot. We come to get better, so in a couple years we can play under those lights.”
By Jackie Nichols