Reporting the news since 1914

The Blue & Gold

Reporting the news since 1914

The Blue & Gold

Reporting the news since 1914

The Blue & Gold

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These War Eagles Are Bald No Longer

Junior varsity football shakes off the past and plunges head first into a turn-it-around season
Shaking+off+the+troubles+of+the+past%2C+the+JV+football+team+faces+their+opponents+with+a+new+identity.
Shaking off the troubles of the past, the JV football team faces their opponents with a new identity.

To call last year’s 9th grade football season “underwhelming” would be an understatement. The team finished with a record of 3-3-1; somewhat lackluster when compared to the class’ previous undefeated seasons.

That team is long gone now, however, and for the 2023-24 JV football season, the team can boast a 5-0 record thus far.

Players have stepped up in a way nobody expected, assembling a dangerous machine that has rolled its way through tough rivals like Blessed Trinity and St. Pius. Although they celebrate victory on the field, the path to success has not been easy for this group of guys.

Every player on the roster stepped up in their own way during the offseason.

Players like Parks Kaiser and Baker Hardison have become leaders in the weight room, lifting massive amounts of weight and inspiring the team to take matters into their own hands. The junior varsity boys showed up multiple times a week at 6:30 a.m. since February to lift and condition.

The boys have demonstrated a passion to win, as well as a desire to dominate in the future, in Hughes Spalding Stadium on Friday nights.

Leadership, both on and off the field, can be attributed largely to Owen Rice and Jackson Bartholomew. Rice and Bartholomew have encouraged the team all season, constantly leading by example and giving every ounce of effort in order to improve the team.

“We’re a special group for sure,” Rice stated. “The key to our success is definitely showing up every single day ready to work and improve.”

The JV machine hit a few potholes on their way to 5-0, however.

Haze Miller, a starting outside linebacker, suffered a blow to the collarbone, putting him out for the season. After an amazing start, Dylan Dwyer, a starting safety, saw the same collarbone injury after he made a huge play in a matchup against St. Pius X.

The ongoing support from injured players like Miller, Dwyer, and Tanner Karakis have been a huge boost in morale for the team. Along with the injured players, the managers show up every day and continually work just as hard as the team.

On the field, the key offensive contributors out of the backfield are Mid McDonald, Caden Scruggs, and Parks Kaiser. Owen Rice and James Lasco duke it out weekly at the quarterback spot, each demonstrating their own amazing skill and playstyle.

The quarterbacks open up the entire field for receivers like Jack Richerson, Dawson Batemon, and Hamilton Feldman in order to rack up passing yards and touchdowns, all while Brady Barry leads the offensive line.

The defense has also been an important key to the team’s newfound success.

“Kieran Kidder and Kelly Spaulding have been great contributions to the defense. Jack Waugh and I have accounted for a ton of tackles,” Stark Byce stated. Byce himself has done his job and served as a star outside linebacker for the team.

The junior varsity boys have shown tremendous strength in the face of injuries and hard fought games. With the season coming to a close, wins against Calhoun and Buford would cap off an impressive season.

About the Contributor
Jude Norden, Staff Writer
Jude joined The Blue and Gold as a sophomore. Jude plays football in his free time, along with basketball and lacrosse. He has a passion for literature and journalism. He hopes to attend Notre Dame in the future and to one day become a doctor.