Homecoming Sparks Optimism


Melanie Bennett

Senior Lewis Folli runs a play in practice in preparation for the homecoming game tonight.

With the Lee game behind them, the varsity football team is preparing for their ‘Neon Out’ Homecoming against the Woodson Cavaliers tonight at 7:30p.m.

“They play tough and we will have to play even tougher in order to beat them,” senior wide receiver Kendall Sapp said.

According to Head Coach Michael Scott, Woodson High School has a strong set of receivers as well as a decent quarterback, while also having a creative defensive line.

“They will want to beat us as bad as we want to beat them so it will be a pretty good game if we do not come out ready to win,” senior quarterback Steven Schwartz said. “ I think Marcus Walton and Beau Hatch need to keep running the ball like they always do and we will be alright. [Woodson] is a great team but I think we can jump on top early with our offense.”

Last season, the Atoms disappointed their Homecoming crowd by losing to the South County Stallions, 56-13 with added points by junior Bennett Cutrera and added rushing yards by senior Marcus Walton.

In regards to the loss last season, “We are going to be throwing the ball more and we are running a bunch of new plays. This year we will be able to beat Woodson and win our homecoming game all in one,” Schwartz said.

As well as losing the Homecoming game, the Atoms were also defeated by Woodson High School 14-7. Senior Jackson Trollinger, who started in place of the injured senior quarterback Steve Schwartz completed 2 of 10 passes for a total of 10 yards with a single completed touchdown with the help of junior Bennett Cutrera’s 31- yard run.

“Our running game will be great against Woodson. If we get a good push from the offensive line we should be able to run over them all night,” Sapp said. “Pur key players are going to be Steven Schwartz, Marcus Walton and our whole offense. As a whole, we have to be able to put points on the board and our defense needs to continue playing great.”

Despite the fact that the team’s  losses this season outweigh their wins, the varsity football team is still optimistic about tonight’s game.

“We had a rough first half of the season and for a lot of those games, we could have easily won if we played to our potential,” Sapp said. “The second half of the season is going to be different. We are going to turn it around and make the playoffs if we limit the mistakes and play like we are supposed to.”
According to Schwartz, the current standings do not represent the team’s skill level.

“We have played a couple of good teams, but we have yet to play at our fullest potential,” Schwartz said.

As well as the team, the crowd is also getting very excited for the long- awaited Neon themed game. Schwartz and Sapp both agree that the student section is an important part of the game as well.

“I think the student section is awesome and I love playing for them. The ATOManiacs both do a great job cheering for the team,” Schwartz said.

Not only is the spirit section important for the team’s optimism, but it is also beneficial for the team defensively.

“The student section is great defensively because they get in the heads of Woodson’s offense and can disorient them. Everyone should come out to the game because it is going to be a good one, and we need all of their support,” Sapp said.

For Schwartz and Sapp, this is not just any Homecoming game, it is their last.

“[This game] is bittersweet, but I am ready to play Woodson,” Schwartz said. “It should be a good game to watch.”

For Sapp, this being his last  Homecoming game is just more motivation for himself.

“It is kind of scary to think I have played for four years,” Sapp said. “It is sad to see it ending but that is just one more reason to get a win.”