Leaving it All Out on the Field

Hard work, commitment, and eventually leaving it all behind is the name of the game in football


Captains and Coach stand side by side; Seniors Spencer Fleming, Nick Ortinau, and Aiden Hernandez watch a game together with head coach Radigan.

As the senior players for the Spartans enter their final season with the team, there’s a hopeful but somewhat uneasy feeling amongst them. Students have supported the team through victories in their first three games, but with players working harder than ever, some within the program wish others knew just how difficult playing can be. 

Senior Cullen Humes started his career in football with the Jr. Spartans as a fifth grader and hasn’t looked back since. Now a team captain, Humes wants more people to know what it’s like to be on the field, and to push back against the idea of an “easy victory”.

“It’s always a dogfight. It’s always hard to win,” Humes said. “Football is one of those sports where there’s a reason you only play it once a week. You go out there for two or three hours and put your all into it, leave it all out on the field, and you don’t have anything left after.”

The feeling isn’t exclusive to the players. Head football coach Malach Radigan has been taking big steps to change the program for the better since he started at the position last year. These steps include not only more rigorous physical training but mental and emotional training as well. Radigan strives to not only improve the team as players, but as people. Along with this comes a heavy workload and responsibility for each player, one that may not be visible to an outsider.

Analyzing on the Field; Head coach Radigan watches the game intently from the sidelines, deciding what the team’s next move should be. (Aniya Sparrow)

“I wish that they knew about the hours that were put in for these kids. Some people think it’s just practice after school and that’s it, but these kids are watching films, these kids are studying, these kids are coming up together on their own and putting in work. Some of these kids are going to the gym after practices, and I just wish people knew how much these kids were investing and how much they’ve grown.” Radigan said.

Throughout the team, there is a sentiment that the work they’ve been putting in will soon pay off. For the senior players, the goal is to make their last season one to remember. Some, however, like captain and senior Spencer Fleming are conflicted about their place in the program, specifically how much longer they’re a part of it. The team has worked tirelessly to get to where they are, but to Fleming, the prospect of leaving it all behind is daunting. Despite his feelings about the departure, he’s able to accept it and look towards the future.

Being a senior this year, you have to walk away from it,” Fleming said. ”And I think about it sometimes and it’s tough to think about like we’re getting good now, and you’ve got to walk away. But at the end of the day, that’s the name of the game, you know?”