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The Game Goes On: A Story of Footballing Success

JLGG_XXL[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he smell of the turf.  The cold wind blowing through the stands as fans rush back to their seats to see the first kick of the game.  The fans cheering on their respectful teams.  The deafening roar as the teams take the field.  It’s all part of the pulsating ride that is going to a high school football game.

High school football is some of the most heart pounding, exciting action one can experience on any given weekend in the Fall.

The Trojans here at Thornton Academy makes football even more exciting, because, in the past three years, they have won the state title two times. They won once in 2012, and most recently, in the Fall of 2014.  It’s an astounding accomplishment, and one that left senior DeAndre Morgan “overjoyed and excited.”

DeAndre, who is nicknamed D-Train, has played left guard on offense and defensive tackle on defense throughout his four years playing football for the Trojans.  He says he also plans on playing in college, with plans of starting as a freshman.

Morgan says that during the offseason “Most do work hard, but then there are some like myself who work hard for a few weeks and then a new sports season starts up and that’s where some choose not to work out during that sport.”

For those who don’t know, the offseason is the time when a sport isn’t going on.  Athletes do a lot of training during the offseason to work towards success during the season.  DeAndre also does track, and he says that some of the exercise he does for track helps him for football also.

“I do separate workout schedules but there are times when I combine them,” Morgan says.  “I lift a lot for any sport.  Football is the one I take more seriously.”

Track athletes have noted the fact that when you walk by the weight room during practice, you’ll see many football players lifting weights, even if the season ended just a few weeks ago.  The football athletes who will represent the gold and maroon in the fall seem to be constantly preparing for the new season.

Offseason is a time where athletes can rest after a hard season, but they still have to train.  Every week they spend not working out can result in a loss of strength.  They need to keep that strength in order to be fresh and ready for a bright new season.

Like Morgan, many high school athletes have aims to play in college.  According to NCAA research, only 6.5 percent of all high school football athletes make it to college level football.

That percentage amounts to just over a million athletes around the country.  The percentage of college to professional for football is even lower, at .08 percent, or just about 250 athletes.

David Arenstam, a soccer coach at Thornton, says that he can spot in an instant when a student has that “x factor.”  When asked if he can spot it when the athlete is a freshman, he only had one word. “Yes.”

The percentage of athletes that get to play in college for football is surprisingly higher than a lot of other sports.  Only baseball and hockey have a higher percentage, at 6.8 and 11.3 percent respectively.  The percentage of football athletes to college is higher than men’s soccer, women’s basketball, and men’s basketball.  The percentages for those sports are all below 6 percent.

As one will notice by those stats, it’s very hard to make the cut to graduate to a college athlete, but it is possible.  With hard work during the offseason, much can be accomplished during the season to impress possible college recruiters.

Thornton is preparing athletes to work hard during the season with their offseason workouts, and hopefully also preparing them to play in college.

Even though looking ahead to college is exciting, DeAndre can’t help but reflect on his time here at Thornton.  He has won the state championship twice with the football team in four years and he looks back on the first one with a lot of happiness.

“We won the first championship in about 25 years and it was a game no one can ever forget.”  Morgan also pays homage to the leadership of that team. “It was also because of the leadership we had from guys like Bobby Begin and Connor McCrum.”

So whether it is the leaders, the captains, the offseason schedule , or a combination of all three, Thornton Academy’s football program is in a great run of form.  Everyone who goes here or went here is rooting that the form continues long into the future, so that future players and fans can enjoy it just as much as the players and fans this year have.

The Golden Trojans knows that the next step in some athlete’s lives is college sports, and they do everything they can to prepare them for that level of competition.

Come next Fall, when the cold wind is blowing once again, when the fans are creating their signature deafening roar, a new, ready generation of athletes will be taking the field.

Some young faces, some old, but the goal is still a common one.  The Trojans are always looking to win trophies, as they have done throughout the long history of the school.  Here at T.A. the future of football looks bright and exciting.

One Comment

  1. Colin Colin May 17, 2016

    But you know soccer is better, Aaron.

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