An Undefeated Season: EHS Football Team Off to Playoffs for a Reason

Isabella Lilley, Staff Writer

Last Friday, Oct. 25, the EHS Tigers Football team won their final season game at home against the Belleville East Lancers with a score of 20-0.

This completed the ninth game of an undefeated season for the Tigers, who will be advancing to post-season play-offs beginning this Friday at home.

The game started slow, with a score of 0-0 finishing off the first quarter. With 1:16 left on the clock in the second quarter, senior wide receiver Darius Crochrell scored a 40-yard touchdown on the third down, which was completed with a field goal.

At the end of the third quarter, a 3-point conversion brought the score to 10-0. With one down to go and 8:58 on the clock in the fourth quarter, senior running back D’Anthony Knight scored a touchdown, with junior kicker Trenton Dailey topping off the game with a 3-point field goal at 1:39.

Junior wide receiver Isaiah Michl will be completing his second season as a Tiger football player, and refuses to psyche himself out for the upcoming battles against mostly northern teams in the Southwestern Conference. “They’re just teams. If [we] view them as Chicago teams, [we’ll] put them above ourselves. You give them the advantage of not playing your hardest.”

Like Michl, senior center Jarrod Kolesa is aware of how tough the battle will be, but knows it can be done. “Everybody hopes that we can play that fifth game in the state championship but it’s going to be a tough ride.”

Mr. Matt Martin has been the head coach for four years, witnessing an undefeated season for the first time this year. He credits the team’s success to the coaches’ standards and the players exceeding of them. “Is it hard? Yeah. But the kids know the expectations and most of them live up to it. What I ask of those guys, I’ve never done myself,” Martin said.

This Friday’s game will be against Tinley Park. The Tigers have the potential of playing five games, the championship game being held Thanksgiving weekend.

Coach Martin feels that there are many keys to success in the play-offs, and a reason for the team’s success this season. “We push them hard. I’m a little critical, but we demand excellence. The kids may not like that, but they understand.”

As for his expectations for play-offs, Coach Martin’s concern lies more heavily in the process of playing well, rather than the actual outcome. “I want [them] to execute, I want [them] to be physical, and I want [them] to give a great effort. That’s what I expect. If we do those things, I feel good about our chances. If we do those things and don’t win, I can live with that. We control what we can control.”

With a season that began back in late spring, and that does not conclude until early winter, some players have committed the majority of their high school years to the sport of football. For Kolesa, he would not want it any other way. “It’s been a long ride. During the season, everybody’s like, I can’t wait for this to be over, but I want it to last all the way to that last game. I won’t be satisfied until we can get to the state championship.”