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Fierce footballers

Andrew Chang ‘26

Nov 13, 2023

The Blue Storm football team faced a daunting season. Much of the challenge was the result of the graduation last year of many talented players. Assistant coach Matt Jacobs said, “This is my first year coaching, and so from what I was told, we had lost a lot of upperclassmen guys last year.“

Apart from the usual goal of winning–which the team had done a lot of in recent years–athletes focused on the team and themselves. 

The football team’s optimistic attitude seems to prevail over any challenges. Adrian Rios ’25 said, “Last season, we had more talented players, but this year everyone is a dog out there.” He emphasized that the new players “try hard and tackle everyone a hundred percent out there on the field.” 

Imangali Zhakan ’26 added, “I'm proud of our team, and we just want to develop and get better together.” He acknowledged that the players were willing to improve as they practiced with the mindset to learn every day. They were well aware that practicing this way would pay off later in the season. 

Jacoba added, “Some of the outcomes in the games aren't what we wanted, but the work ethic is there.”

Head coach Andy Brown said, “While our team record wasn't what we had hoped for, I will still characterize this season as a success.” 

Jacobs commented on the string of uncharacteristic losses to end the season: “It's not great losing, but they are working hard to get better, [and] to have a different outcome the following week.” 

Rios elaborated, “People need to reset their mindset because every time after our atmosphere gets low, but every time after we win, everyone's very upbeat.” 

The players’ unflinching dedication was not lost on the coaches. Jacobs said, “The leadership from the captains and the coaching staff is awesome, and I'm having a good time, and the guys are having a good time.”

Many upperclassmen on the team are working to pass the culture of hard work to newer team members. Zhakan stated, “I feel like we have a pretty good team dynamic. We have our captains and our seniors teaching the lowerclassmen.” 

Brown also noted, “Many of our players became better at football players, athletes, and people who displayed leadership skills.

Wins and losses do not wholly define success.  Brown said, “We had lots of highlights throughout the season - many because our team were great teammates to each other and worked hard to the end of every game. We played well at times but usually had a mistake here or there that cost us an opportunity to put the game away when needed.”

Brown concluded by starting his profound respect for the hard-working players, calling the football team “one of my favorite groups to coach. They are an outstanding group of young people.”

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