Tackling the Unknown: Football Looks Ahead After 3-1 Start

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Tackling the Unknown: Football Looks Ahead After 3-1 Start

Jessica Loboy, Staff Reporter

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Coming off of a win last Friday night, the Falcons are 3-1 so far this season and hoping to keep the winning streak going. However, students may notice that when they show up to the games, they might not recognize the opposing teams that the football team is playing. With changes in the 5A Oregon football league, La Salle is facing some unfamiliar competition.

The team started out with a tough loss against Garfield, a high school in Seattle with a nationally ranked football recruit, but was able to bounce back in the next three games, beating Cascade, Benson, and Putnam.

Head coach Aaron Hazel said, “The OSAA went through a full realignment, and the biggest reason was that they looked through the past two seasons and saw that about 40 percent of games played throughout the state had a score differential of 43 or more points.”

Reevaluating teams and placing them into different leagues will hopefully make the season more competitive and convenient for all teams.

Hazel also describes some of the pros and cons of this adjustment. He mentions that there are some negatives, because they were very comfortable with the old teams and coaches, and now they will have less to go off of for their upcoming games. However, this goes both ways. Since many of the teams are unfamiliar with each other, they won’t know how well the Falcons can play.

Senior Griffin Cardwell said that the new league has been “a lot different” and mentions that “I think it is good for us.” He said, “Nobody is playing any different and we are doing the same things as we have always done.”

Hard work and motivation are what drive the football players to play their very best. “We have a lot of good guys and everybody is really doing their best in practice,” Cardwell said. “As long as everyone sticks to their assignments, I think we have a pretty good chance.”

Senior Lucas Van Wagner also shares this motivation when he is on the field because he is reminded “of all the reasons why [he] started playing and all the reasons why the people on [his] team started playing” and that “[he] loves every moment of it.”

With the loss of so many seniors last year, the Falcons have had to step up to compete as well as they have in years past. Coach Kelly said, “Our seniors are learning how to be leaders. People like Cardwell and Gately are stepping up and on defense, Weber and Middendorff are being leaders, too.”

“It’s really nice to be a leader [and] take the team under my wing,” Cardwell added.

Looking forward to a prosperous season, the team hopes to grow stronger and fix any mistakes they’ve made early on. Both the players and the coaches believe that the playoffs, winning league, and a state title could be in their reach this year if they buckle down and play their hearts out every Friday night.

“I’m pretty confident that we will win league, depending on how these next couple of weeks pan out,” Cardwell said.