Players tackle their way to finish

In+the+last+game+of+the+season+players+get+in+formation+to+do+one+final+play+as+the+freshman+team.++Photo+by+Bailey+Horten

In the last game of the season players get in formation to do one final play as the freshman team. Photo by Bailey Horten

With the 2015 season coming to an end, freshmen football players strive to finish the last few games. Players and coaches push through each final practice all the way through. Coaches and many of the freshman players all want their last season for the junior high to go on, but it has to end sometime.

Coach Damon Luciano has been coaching for 27 years and has been head coach of the Jr.High program for 17 years.

“I played football up through high school, and when I became a teacher I decided I wanted to coach,” Luciano said.

Not just Coach Luciano, but Coaches Brock Porter and John Chesney push the boys to the best of their abilities. Five years ago was the best record since the teams came together and the years after they have not matched up,but this year the boys can change that and finish with the second best record since the school first combined teams. 8-1 record.

“I definitely feel like this group of boys can do it. They have progressed through the season really well. I mean they came back in the last few minutes or so of many games and we started off the season with a clean sweep with our scrimmage so we definitely have a chance,” Luciano said.

Coach Luciano mentioned how the boys came together from having two teams in eighth grade and being one team this year, so they learned to grow together. The team had many wins as well as losses.

”Fort Hill and State College were two good games, Seneca Valley as well. Yeah the Hollidaysburg game was a big win for us since they beat us in the scrimmage, and we came back and beat them. The game could have been played more in our favor, but the win was good,” Luciano said.

All of the coaches hoped to finish off with an 8-1 record, and in the end they got it. They would have taken a 7-2 finish, but took an even better record in the end.

Freshman players Kurt VonColln and Connor McCarthy had a lot to say about their season this year. Both boys have been playing for five years and are going to play through high school. The season had their ups and downs and the team pushed through them all.

“ Hollidaysburg and Fort Hill were two good games. Fort Hill we won 14-12 and they are tough, and Hollidaysburg we won 26-14 which was a good win,” half back Kurt VonColln said.

The coaches were hard on the boys all season and never had an easy practice or game.

“ Yeah they yelled a lot and the practices were long and hot so they were not that fun,” quarterback Connor McCarthy said.

VonColln and McCarthy both had the goal of winning the last game to finish 8-1 for the first time in three years and when they got it said they couldn’t have done it without the help of the team and coaches. Both boys can’t wait to get back on the field in the 2016 season.

“I feel good about it because it’s been a tough season but in the end we did really well. I regret the mistakes in the State College game, but we finished with a good record so it’s good,” Connor McCarthy said.

They hope to see the next team follow up in their footsteps and maybe even finish with an undefeated season.

“Quitters never win, and winners never quit,” VonCollin said after playing his last season with the  junior high.

Ninth grade players hope that their younger counterparts will step up next season.

“Try hard and you will succeed,” McCarthy said.