Rams football kick off season

An in depth look at the people under the Friday night lights


Friday nights lights have returned at MV as the 2018 football season begins! MV’s football team has high hopes and aspirations for the new season!

Players and coaches have set goals they hope to accomplish as the season plays out.

     “The team has set a goal that everyone’s been waiting for, and that’s to win some football games. Our team goal is to win three or more games. We’ve been putting in the work and we know it can be accomplished,” said Evan Leake, ‘21.

     “A team goal is to fight through the bad times and turn situations around, to weather the storm,” said first year Coach Jerod Kessler.

     “We are a rebuilding team so we don’t plan to go undefeated but we plan to get wins under our belt,” said Tyrist Owens, ‘20.

With the hard work and effort the team has put in, they’ve developed strengths that will help them accomplish their goals and lead them to success.

“We have a lot of athletes as well as hard working people. I’d say the biggest strength we have is each other as one unit,” said Nick Malone, ‘19.

“We have strengths everywhere. Our skill players are very good. We’re a fast, smart group of guys. Passing the ball was going to be a pretty big strength this year with the Wide Receivers we have,” said Leake.

     Alongside their strengths are some weaknesses that the team plans to improve on as the season progresses.

“I’d say [one of our weaknesses is] the amount of effort we give when it’s later on in the game. We become lazy and we aren’t giving it our all,” said Malone.

“[A weakness we have is] tackling. We gotta be more aggressive and get a little tougher,” Leake added.

During the first home game of the season against Taylorville, MV’s quarterback, Hunter Simmons, was injured.

“Our quarterback Hunter Simmons went down with an injury and probably won’t be returning this year, and that sucks, you know a young kid with a cannon arm. We’ll still throw the ball but missing Hunter will be rough,” said Leake.

However, the quarterback has a positive mindset about his injury and believes the team will persevere.

“I’m just gonna keep my head up and keep going,” said Hunter Simmons,’21. “I think some other players will step up and make a big impact.”

MV’s football players are like a family and are strong when it comes to teamwork.

“This is a new team that has a lot to offer, we are more like a family,” said Owens.

     “We are family,” said Malone. “My goal [is] to keep pushing myself, and be there for my brothers.”

The Rams are focused on teamwork and being a family, but have set personal goals for themselves as well.

“[My goal is to] create a good culture for football, that’s positive and gets the kids involved,” said Coach Kessler.

“Individually, I’m looking to break the interception record so I want to have about 5 interceptions this year. [However,] I’m looking to help my team win and not just focus on myself,” said Leake.

Players are not only supported by each   other, but also supported by the community.

“We are grateful for our community, the people that never gave up on us and always show support,” said Owens.

This is a year of changes for the football team and they plan to have a successful 2018 season.

“We hear what people say and how they doubt us, that’s cool. We are gonna go out there every friday night and give it our all. Finally this season is the start of a culture change! Bringing back the Vern!” said Malone.