The Year to Soar: Hillcrest Football ’16

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Jawaun Williams, Guest Writer

Hillcrest is known for many things, athletics being the most precedent among them both the male and the female teams at the school. The boy’s teams in particular have always been good and a source of pride for the school, at least they have when it came down to the basketball season. The football team on the other hand hasn’t necessarily been something to brag about. For nearly a decade, the varsity football team hasn’t made any waves in our division. After the varsity football team went 0-9 for three seasons in a row, you can understand why Hillcrest bleachers weren’t necessarily filled.

Last year for the 2015-2016 varsity football season, things began to change. The school made some desperately needed off-season changes with the most notable of them being the acquisition of Hillcrest alumni and former NFL player Marquise Cole for the head coaching position. With a professional football player as the head coach, there was already a feeling of invincibility going into the new season. When it came to football, there was an anxiousness to everyone, not only the players but the students and even teachers and staff as well!

When the season began, our Hawks did the seemingly impossible and started off 4-0. It was rare to even see a win considering we hadn’t won a single game in years, but it was unbelievably extraordinary to start off with four games in the win column and still undefeated. The fifth game of the 2015-2016 season was a major challenge not only because the Hawks had to face Eisenhower and try to stay undefeated but also because it was the Hillcrest homecoming game which hadn’t been won against any team in five years. Everyone (including me) just knew we were going to win anyway and progress to a 5-0 record.

Long story short: that isn’t how things went down, in fact our varsity team choked and got blown out by Eisenhower and lost 60-0 at home. From then on the entire 2015-2016 football season did a downwards spiral down the drain. We lost four more straight games after that. Our team ended the season with a record of four wins five losses and did not make it to the playoffs. To be frank, the way the season ended was a disappointment. After such a great start and all of the extra work put in it was sad to see the team lose in the fashion they did at the end of it all.

The Hawks took that season as a learning experience though. In preparation for this 2016-2017 season, they worked harder than they ever have. They ran longer, practiced better, and got stronger individually and as a team. Marquise Cole is still the head coach with Burkett as the offensive coordinator and Weaver as the defensive coordinator. This is also the senior year of Hillcrest’s future stars Ezenna C-Madu, Marcus Garett, and Jaylen Jenkins who have all been named team captains, so they definitely wanted to end their last year of high school football out with a bang. So far as of Monday October 3rd, 2016 they are definitely on the right track to do just that. The Hillcrest High school varsity football team has a record of four wins and two losses with three more games left to play in the regular season. One more win will advance our team into the playoffs. Not to mention we won our first homecoming game in six years with a blowout win against the Bremen Braves.

Updated: 11/19/16
The season is over now and our Hawks not only made it to the playoffs but advanced to the second round before a loss to Marian Central. Still, this season has definitely been one to remember and will go down in history as a great one !