Atoms football off to hot start


Senior runningback Prince Agyeman rests on the sideline in the Atom’s 38-0 blowout win over Herndon.

On March 12, Annandale lost to a strong T.C. Williams squad by a score of 34-14. The loss ended the team’s undefeated streak, as their current record is now 3-1. Despite their recent defeat, the team is still off to a tremendous start to the season. On Feb. 23, Annandale beat Woodson in the first game of the year by a score of 28-6.

This was a great win for the team considering that they lost to Woodson last year and did not win a single game. This victory proved to give the team a boost of confidence and provided momentum for upcoming matchups. The following game resulted in a 38-0 blowout win against Herndon. The atom defense did an excellent job stepping up during the game to hold Herndon to a shut-out. The team then followed their 2-0 start with an amazing offensive performance as they beat Hayfield 63-28 and rushed for over 400 yards. 

The atoms have improved a great amount this season after last year’s disappointing results. They finished with a winless record of 0-10. But now that the squad has many more experienced seniors, they are starting to win more games and play more competitively.

“I feel like last year’s struggles really made us motivated to turn the season around this year and make things right. The skills players joined a 7 on 7 league in the fall to get us ready for the season in the spring and we worked hard over the summer to get ready,” senior quarterback Danny Salisbury said. The 7 on 7 league that some of the players entered was held at the St. James sports, wellness and entertainment complex. Entering these types of leagues are very common for players so that they can stay in shape and improve their skills. 

“A lot of us put a lot of work in during the off-season that has really helped refine our skills and improve our confidence as a team,” said senior Nicholas Bellem. 

As the football season continues, the players all have one common goal. 

“Our team’s main goal is to win,” Bellem said. 

The team is hoping to put a district championship under their belt, as well as a potential regional title. The Atoms play the Mount Vernon Majors on March 26, followed by a clash with West Potomac on April 4. The team hopes to win both of these games to extend their winning record to 5-1.

Although the team is playing great at the moment, there is still a challenge that they have to face because are playing during the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that there are a lot of precautionary measures put in place to keep athletes safe. One of these measures put in place is that each player is only allocated two tickets to give to friends or family members. This means that there are way less fans that can cheer them on. 

“Playing under the COVID-19 circumstances is very difficult but I’m glad my family can still come and watch me play my senior year,” Salisbury said.

Many players also believe that the playing under these circumstances are difficult, but they still give it their all and come to compete for every game.

It is safe to say that the football team is playing great this year. They are off to a hot 3-1 start, but they are not done yet. They are still hungry for more and are hoping to keep on winning.