The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

Atoms battle for strong finish to season

Bo Lee
Senior Thyrese Ofosu makes a recpetion and takes off for extra yardage, against the Rock Ridge Pheonixs, Nov. 3rd

In the second half of the season the Atoms Football team got a solid win on October 27, bringing their season record to 2-8. This late season highlight came from an exhilarating shutout defeat over the Lewis Lancers on the road. 

The Atoms were led by Senior running back Liano Van Heerdan who had two rushing touchdowns and a total of 138 rushing yards for the night. Van Heerdan said, “It felt good to score against Lewis and have all the hard work pay off.”

The Atoms faced a contentious call and had to make some sudden changes in the quarterback position due to the ejection of Senior Ben Diconi.

Diconi added, “in the moment I didn’t think much of it but a few days later it really started to hit me that that would be the last game of football I’d ever play.”

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As a result, Junior Logan Noyes was put in as quarterback. “I was super nervous. I knew how hard it is being a quarterback and questioned whether I could perform the task well,” added Noyes. He rose to the occasion, and held the team together for the win. 

Earlier in the season, Noyes dealt with a sprained ankle and was out for a few weeks. The road to recovery was challenging but Noyes stayed positive and kept coming to support the team at practice. 

A bright spot to the season was the performance of the wide receivers. Noyes said, “the wide receiver role improved a lot this season mainly because the offensive coordinator, Chase Cole, used a lot more passing plays than last year.”

While the Atoms remain optimistic for next year’s football season, they face a challenge due to graduating 19 seniors this year. Van Heerdan is one of those seniors, but after a successful season playing running back alongside Dominic Vejcik he knows he is leaving the position in good hands. “Dom is my dog and I enjoyed playing with him very much and can’t wait to see him play next year” said Van Heerdan.

Junior Khalid Muhiden believes that the team will have success if they can, “be more coachable and stop turning the ball over.” The rising seniors have a big job ahead of them and their encouragement of each other is admirable.

On November 3, seniors played their last game f0r the Atoms to finish out their high school career. They battled hard to the end but fell short when they lost to Rock Ridge, 27-13. Senior, Thyrese Ofosu had a big impact on the Atoms as a wide receiver and defensive back this year. Ofosu says what he will miss most about playing for the Atoms is “the bonds and friendships I made along the way.”

This completes Coach Chris Bagot’s first season as Head Coach. Coach Bagot will surely be working hard to develop the program in the years to come.

While the varsity Atoms improved, The Atoms JV football team had a successful season with a winning record of 5-3.

Sophomore Austin Graham said “I think we did great, especially since we lost some players throughout the season, we still overcame those challenges.” 

Both squads had to adapt throughout the season to account for multiple injuries.  Players were sometimes required to go out of their comfort zone and cover a role that was not their original position. For example, Sophomore Connor Delaney started as a wide receiver, but then became the starting quarterback for JV. 

“Transitioning to quarterback was a big adjustment but is way more fun, and I like the fact that I can get to know the team better by practicing with the other positions more,” said Delaney.

With the success of the JV squad this year, things are looking hopeful for future Varsity Atoms in the coming years!

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About the Contributor
Andrew McGee
Andrew McGee, Staff Writer
Sophomore Andrew McGee is in his first year on the A-Blast as a staff writer. He plays baseball and swims for Annandale. He's also member of the Math Honor Society. Outside of school he enjoys listening to music, spending time with friends and family, and exercising.

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