Despite who all of the experts picked last week, the Zebras made them wrong in a big way. After a tough loss in week one, I believe the writers, other coaches, and other teams wrote this team off, but the Zebras are saying “not so fast.” The Zebras have righted the ship with wins in back-to-back weeks. This last Friday the 5th ranked Hilldale Hornets came to Lantow field with all the confidence in the world. They were 2-0 and had won big in the first two weeks. None of that mattered to the Zebras, as Coach Hurt always says “we can only worry about what we can control.” The kids are buying into that mentality, they controlled what they could control, and in the end, that control showed up as pure want. As a football player, most games come down to who wants it more. On Friday, the Zebras just wanted it more than the Hornets did. I know this to be true because of what I saw on the field. I saw only one team not showing signs of fatigue, I saw only one team that was not walking on and off the field, I saw only one team that seemed hungry, and I saw only one team’s defense hold a stud running back to less than 90 yards rushing. That team was your Zebras, and your Zebras got the win 27-10.
Another bright spot to the week is the end of the week when the coaches get to give out awards to some of the players. On Saturday morning four young men received a shirt that showed what they had accomplished during the week. This week started with Aaron Braswell earning the JV player of the week. Coach hurt said, “this player is always hustling, working hard so he will be prepared when his time comes, and is always ready to play whatever role is needed of him during the week.” The next award went to big J. Bump. Bump was awarded the special teams POW. Coach Dexter said he earned this award for doing a thankless job, which people only care about when it goes bad. J. Bump is the team’s long snapper, which can be the difference between winning and losing if it goes wrong, but all the snaps were perfect and that is why he is the special team’s player of the week. The third award went to the offensive player of the week, which was sophomore, Xander Brito. Xander carried the load Friday night, carrying the ball 21 times. Brito also was rewarded with his first varsity touchdown, the first of many for the young running back. The last award went to the defense. Jesse Cagle stood out this week from the middle linebacker spot. Jesse is your typical linebacker, loves to hit you, and will not apologize for it. Jesse is always flying around and has a nose for the ball. He helped the defense slow down the best player, and helped the defense secure 7 sacks on the night. Congratulations to these four players, they all earned it and deserved it.
What a night it was getting to recognize the true heroes on Military Appreciation Night, seeing all the future Zebras on CYFA night, proving doubters wrong, and watching Zebras absolutely dominate the game. Let’s keep it going this week when we Play Hale on the road. Hope to see you all there, and GO ZEBRAS.