The Boys in Blue: The Last Ride

Seniors Nolan Hartford and Andrew Hellriegel walk towards the post game huddle after the win over Herrin.

Seniors Nolan Hartford and Andrew Hellriegel walk towards the post game huddle after the win over Herrin.

Natalie Vanderzille, Staff Writer

The senior boys football team members are off to a great start to the season with a win over Benton, Herrin, and Murphysboro. This year there are 15 seniors on the team including several four year players and reappearing players. The team has a great atmosphere and chemistry led by a large senior class.

Early in their high school careers, the football class of 2023 had a very successful season. During their freshman season, they went undefeated with many blowout wins.  Senior quarterback, Andrew Hellriegel, reflects on their first high school season by saying ¨We were very dominant our freshman year when we gained a lot of new players to our program. We had a lot of talent that season and a lot of talent still returning our senior year.¨

One of the many returning players this year is senior, Kade Lustenberger. Lustenberger took a two year break between his freshman and senior seasons. Lustenberger said, ¨I’m just excited to get back out there with my friends. I haven’t played since freshman year, and I didn’t want to graduate knowing I could have played football and had a really successful season.¨

The senior class started their freshman season with 26 players from their class, and are now down to 15 players. However, the boys are still having a successful season with a record of 3-0. Senior Talon Walker also said the game he was looking forward to the most was,¨ definitely Murphy week because they´re our hardest game week, and they have the best competition that we face in the pre season.¨ This past Friday, the Lions rolled past Murphysboro with an easy win of 49-28.

Although the senior class lost many players throughout their four high school seasons, they still have all the tools they need to be a successful team on the field. Senior Blake Burkey thinks that this season will be just as successful as their past seasons, ¨I absolutely think we will have that same success. We have all gotten a lot taller and stronger, and have continued to develop our skills throughout our four years as a player.¨

The Lions have had a very successful season so far and are hoping to make a run in the playoffs. With the leadership of the senior class, the Lions are in good standings to make this a long and successful season.