Varsity football plans comeback

Varsity football had their first preseason game on Aug. 22. The team lost 24-27 against Hollywood Hills High School, but the team is not going to let the streak continue. They changed their whole perspective on how to play and focused on the main goals. With this change in mind the team took home their first season win on Aug. 28 against Barbara Goldman high school, winning 29-0.

“We simplified some [plays] instead of trying to do too much. We just narrowed it down to a few things and got good at some of the basic [steps], rather than being so elaborate,” Offensive Coordinator, coach James O’Brien said.

The team plans to proceed and win the district playoffs. Although the team was not up to par last year, they believe this year will be different.

“We have more stability. We have [good] leadership at the quarterback position [and] we are not as young as we were last year. We’re all on the same page together,” O’Brien said.

The team is enthusiastic and confident about this season, but there is one thing that will always be in the back of their minds: senior Keaton Vannatta injured himself during summer practice, devastating the team.

Vannatta had high hopes and dreams for his last football season with the team. During the summer, just weeks before going back to school, Vannatta got into a football accident with another player, resulting in a torn MCL. It was only their “first padded practice of the season,” Vannatta said.

“At our first practice, [junior] Evan Rojas fell and rolled on my knee hard, so it tore,” Vannatta said.

Vannatta will be in a leg brace for a few more weeks, then switch to a smaller brace and start attending physical therapy.

The injury devastated Vannatta. He watched his hopes and dreams of his last high school season fade away.

“As of right now I’m not playing college or anything, but hopefully something will work out, Vannatta said.

“It was hard to take, he was a big part of our team. Not only from a physical standpoint but a leadership standpoint. He is still a big part of the team, even though he is not on the field,” coach O’Brien said.

A senior’s last football season is said to be the most important. That’s when the football players can prove themselves worthy for college teams and recruiters. “I dont have the same opportunities anymore,” Vannatta said.

Even though Vannatta will not be playing at all this season, he still attends every practice and game to support his team and help out.

Senior Tyler Monaco transferred to the school last year from Cardinal Gibbons high school. Monaco was put in the most important position: quarterback.

“We made a lot of different changes overall, especially to the offensive line,” Monaco said.

Monaco transferred schools last year when he was a junior.

“The change in the school has honestly helped me out a lot. I love my new school [and] everything about my new team. It’s really a great feeling to have a role on the team, it makes everything special,” Monaco said.

Monaco along with all of the other players, is expecting an successful season this year.

“The team looks great. We had a great offseason and worked really hard. The team is really coming together. This is going to be one of the best teams in Western [football] history,” Monaco said.

Last year’s football season wasn’t as successful as is predicted. Major changes are taking place for the team to be better and play better.

“There’s a whole new feel to the football team. There’s a whole new atmosphere around everything. With the major theme of one team coming together and doing something special,” Monaco said.

The team plans to proceed to win the district playoffs. High hopes and dreams are pushing the boys to expect a strong and powerful season.

Photos: Shania Hodges