A Game Day In The Life

Kyle Dixon, Staff Writer

School football games are significant events for students, teachers and parents alike. However, no amount of excitement from the local community can compare to that felt by the actual players. This excitement comes from the fact that these games are very limited, and no one understands this more than the senior players.

“It’s definitely something that’s on your mind the whole day,” senior left tackle Richard Lee said. “You only have 10 games during a football season, so every one means a lot to you.”

Even though the game is the most significant part of the day, the 24 or so hours leading up to it are almost just as apparent for the standard player due to how different they are from the rest of the school week.

“On most days, before school, I’ll just grab something really quick to eat,” Lee said. But on a game day, I’ll make it a point to wake up a little bit earlier just so I can make a good meal and get my day started out right.”

The difference in a player’s day is not just apparent in their routine but in their mindset as well.

“We mentally focus ourselves throughout the day, through every single period, on all the stuff we’re going to have to do for the game,” junior defensive tackle Ethan Edinger said. “I’m usually a little more excited because I see all my teammates in their Polos and it just get me ready and excited to play.”

Other members of the team have a similar reaction to their peers during the school day.

“If people come up and talk to me about the game, and are just excited for that, it’s almost something to motivate you,” Lee said. “You know that the people in the school are counting on you.”

Throughout the entirety of the day, a noticeable change in attitude is something that is not uncommon for a player, even one with experience.

“Monday through Wednesday, I’ll just be a normal dude, but when it’s Thursday and Friday, it’s all business,” senior defensive back Kyle Hinds said.

As the school day draws to a close and the game begins to get nearer, the changes between the average day and that of a game become even more evident.

“Usually, just before a practice, in the locker room, we’re all talking and having a good time,” Edinger said. “But before games, I mean, we’re still having a good time, but we’re more focused individually on what we need to do.”

Following the game itself, the atmosphere of that same locker room is usually dependent on the events of the game, but, more often than not, it is only temporary.

“After a loss, the coaches try to use it as motivation,” Lee said. “After a win, yeah we’re happy, but then it’s always on to the next week. We’re always focused on the next task.”

Despite all of this, the one thing that is truly essential to school football is the team and the players that make it up. A game day for a player is very different from an average school day and even that of an average student and most of this is due to the game itself. However, what is just as palpable to the players are their teammates.

“I’m excited,” Lee said. “The team is coming together. We’re definitely getting better day by day.”