By Bess Markel and Emma Roth, staff writers
This has shown throughout the years, but this year’s team is different. They have gone above and beyond, winning almost every single one of their games. Antjuan Simmons, standout varsity running back, says it is due to the changed coaching and team dynamic.
Simmons’ experience with the Pioneer football team hasn’t always been organized. “Our first year, it was really rough. We had maybe 30 kids on game day and 20 kids at practice…it was good, but it wasn’t at the intensity level that it is at now,” he says.
This year the coaching and the team dynamic as a whole has changed. Simmons feels that this change in dynamic is a direct result of the coaching. “Coach has really pulled us together as a team,” he says.
Christian Reid, an inside linebacker, attributes the football team’s success to all of the hard work put in year-round. “Our team worked incredibly hard to get where we are. It starts in the off-season. We are in the weight room every day, and after that we usually do conditioning. It keeps us in shape,” he said.
Reid also says that the football program has changed a lot since last year. “We watch film a lot more, and we have a way better program. Someone donated a drone so we can better watch (tapes of) our practices and games,” he said.
Jackson Hawkins, a back-up varsity quarterback, has also noticed the changed dynamic. “We have a lot of really good players and the coaches have realized that. They know we have a chance to be a great team,” he says.
Thanks to this new generation of players and coaching style, the football team has increased its capacity for greatness this year. They hope to win the division title this year. To do so, they need to continue to win; however, the team members aren’t worried. “Pioneer has been a winning team in football for so long…we’ve just decided that we aren’t gonna let ourselves lose,” said Simmons.