Kicking off the classic

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photo by Jacob Arthur

Taylor Ferraro and Justin Baronoff

On Friday, Aug 22 the varsity football team hoped for a stadium full of pumped up fans to kick off the season against East River High School and got exactly what they wanted, a raging Ziglar’s Zoo to cheer the team on to a 37-31 win over East River. The team even ended their victory, much to the excitement of the team and the crowd, by dumping a water cooler over head football coach Phil Ziglar.

The team took the field after tiring days of offseason workouts ready to“[represent] the student body, the administration, and Hagerty,” according to Coach Ziglar.

During their workouts, an average of 90-115 students showed up to participate in the offseason training.

“It wasn’t mandatory because I believe everybody has a life too,” Ziglar said. “But… we had a great turnout. Kids were really pushing themselves to make themselves better, which, as a coach, is all you can ask for.”

From heavy bench pressing to squatting over double their weight to increasing their endurance and speed on the field, the team worked on increasing their football IQ for the season. Coming into workouts, Ziglar gave them this mindset: “don’t label someone a winner or loser by a record. You label them as what they do at the end of the season.”

“It’s really great to be training and practicing with these guys because all of them have sacrificed lots of time this summer to train and get better for this season,” quarterback Michael Beaudry said.

As the team headed into the Kickoff Classic, Ziglar saw it as more than just a preseason showdown. “You’re supposed to learn from it, I’m supposed to find out where we’re weak, where we’re strong and what we have to do to improve us,” Ziglar said.

The quarterback battle that started at the beginning of summer has carried over into the season, with Beaudry and junior Zach King continuing to vie for the starting position.

“We always push each other and help each other every day in practice in order to become better for the team because in the end the team needs us the most,” Beaudry said.

Ziglar has decided to not name a definite starter yet and will continue to switch back and forth between the two.

However, the fight for the quarterback position was not the only thing that got Ziglar’s attention. He had hoped the Ziglar Zoo would be back in action and the pumped up crowd was where it belonged. A huge turnout for the game had encouraged the players to play to their full potential and allow momentum to be taken away from the other team.

“I feel happy just being able to know you’re a part of something that matters because this school puts a lot of pride in sports teams,” King said.

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