The Student News Source of Sparkman High School

The Crimson Crier

The Student News Source of Sparkman High School

The Crimson Crier

The Student News Source of Sparkman High School

The Crimson Crier

Gridiron Fever

Players Eagerly Wait For The Seasons Kickoff
Photo Credit: Scott Lowe

The stage is set, anticipation fills the air, the players are prepared and a season awaits. 

 The Senators are now ready to kick off the season. 

Stepping into the role of a new head coach, the anticipation of the upcoming season is accompanied by a sense of purpose and determination. With an unwavering focus on the team’s success, new head coach Ronnie Watson will be approaching the season differently than what most would expect.

“Honestly most would think it had everything to do with wins and losses. I look at it a little differently. All the seniors graduating is huge,” Watson said. “Each young athlete in their own way is learning something from our coaches, and program that will leave a positive footprint on them throughout their lives. For them to form relationships that will last a lifetime. Winning is great as long as we do it the right way, and keep the best interest of our players and program first.”

In the depths of fall camp, where sweat drips, bonds form and resilience is forged, the assessment of the team’s strengths and weaknesses becomes paramount. Every snap, every drill, every lift and every film session becomes a vital piece of the puzzle, but it is not just about the physical aspects; the mind too plays a crucial role.

“Fall camp really brings out who the real guys are, and who is pretending. Physical as well as mental competencies will be taken into account. You want to come out on the other side of fall camp in the right mindset as healthy as possible, and that all comes back to me and the staff,” Watson said.

As the teams dive into the intensity of fall and the upc, the focus lies on implementing specific strategies and changes that will elevate the team’s performance during the upcoming season. With that in mind, they aim to raise the tempo and organization in every aspect of their training and preparation. 

 “Everything we can do from a mental standpoint. Move faster/be more organized in everything we do. Lifting daily just as hard as we did in the offseason program. We have done some great stuff over the past few years, we intend to keep building on that. In anything speed kills, so can we do what we vision in everything we do as fast as we can do it? We have really focused on the mentality to cut down on negatives in a game and worry about the things we can control,” Watson said.

With the pads on, everything changes. The physicality, the mentality, the pace, and even the heat. Each day presents an opportunity for the team to come together as one cohesive unit, united in their pursuit of team goals. 

“At the end of each day, we have to know that we are one team working toward our team goals. We have had great chemistry thus far. Our senior class for the most part has really helped in that. These three weeks before our first game we intend to develop more as a family and not individuals. None is bigger than the family,” Watson said.

Injuries often accompany football. However, the majority of these occurrences can be mitigated through diligent practice, proper technique, and effective communication with the trainers.

“Our strength, and conditioning coach does a great job implementing everything from big muscle lifts to working the small muscles, to stretching, and working with bands. Limiting the number of snaps a player receives. We are consistently communicating with each player to eat and hydrate. Our athletic trainers Andy and Colleen are a huge key in our success in this department,” Watson said. “They work tirelessly on making sure our athletes get the best treatment when they need it and sometimes it’s not the direction the player or coach visions but in the long term the right for the student-athlete.”

As captain, senior Josh Ward has high expectations for himself, the team, and the upcoming season.

“I expect us to be undefeated, go past expectations this year, and blow everyone out of the water because that’s the potential we have,” Ward said. “I plan to motivate, and encourage my team to go harder everyday, and stay focused because this year is the Senators year.”

Senior Jayden Lamar believes that building a brotherhood, and overall bond will be an effective strategy that he will implement as team captain.

“The strategy is brotherhood. Creating a family bond not only on the field but off the field as well. The motivation is to build on our mistakes from the past and apply those corrections in the future,” Lamar said. “Some inspiring words we will live by is RARE. Respect aggression, resilience, and excellence.”

Most of the team’s seniors, like Jayden Thomas, will be playing their final high school football season this year. Thomas says football has taught him many lessons for which he is grateful for them.

“My personal goal for the upcoming season is to make the most out of my last season. I obviously hope for nothing but success for our team, but I also wish the best of memories for the game some of us will be leaving behind,” Thomas said. “I plan to play my best, and do everything possible to be a positive player on, and off the field. No matter the outcome, football will always be a life changing experience, and I am more than grateful for the many lessons it has taught me.”

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About the Contributor
MehQuira Malone
MehQuira Malone, Editor-in-Chief