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COMMENTARY: A Plainsmen Victory Nonetheless

Elizabeth Dippo

Although the scoreboard might say otherwise, the Varsity Plainsmen did share a victory in Troy on Friday, Nov. 1o, during the Sectional Championship against the CBA Brothers. 

While the Plainsmen did not win the game itself, they did demonstrate perseverance, determination and persistence until the very end. There’s definitely not one ounce of ‘quit’ in the team.

After losing Ishaan Alozie, a junior and the starting running back for the Plainsmen to an ankle injury, Anthony Diaz, a junior, stepped up to contribute to offense. Diaz had a total of 53 receiving yards and a number of rushing yards that helped the Plainsmen hold the 7-6 lead until the end of the second quarter when the Brothers got a touchdown and made the score 12-7 going into halftime. 

In the second half, Shenendehowa got another touchdown and went for a two point conversion, leaving the team with 15 points. 

The Plainsmen’s top three offensive players were Michael Whatley, a senior, captain and starting quarterback; Blake Mello, a senior, starting wide receiver and safety; and Anthony Diaz. 

Players like Jason Clawson, a senior, starting tight end and outside linebacker and; Luke McAuliffe, a senior and starting wide receiver also contributed. 

Unfortunately, the Brothers got another touchdown towards the end of the game. In the fourth quarter, once the Brothers got possession, they let the clock run for the final minute and a half. The final score came out to 18-15, with the Brothers winning the game. 

“It’s obviously not the outcome we wanted, but it was still a great game and I’m really proud of this team,” said Brett Steiner, a senior, captain and starting middle linebacker on the team. “We just need to refocus and win next week.” 

The Plainsmen have the unique opportunity to play again this season, regardless of the fact that they didn’t win Friday night. Because of their perfect record in the regular season, the Plainsmen were granted a wild card and will take on the Carmel Rams, Saturday at Mahopac High School. 

“We were looking to obviously win the section championship and bring it all home but now we just got to keep our heads up and look forward to next game because we get the opportunity,” said Mcauliffe. 

Anthony Vozzy, a senior and defensive end for the team said he was disappointed about the loss, but confident going into Saturday’s game. “We’re going to win next week,” he said. 

Even though the Plainsmen were hoping to win Friday night, the team still has a plethora of reasons to be proud of themselves and the work they’ve put forth not only on Friday night, but throughout the season as a whole. 

“This year, compared to the previous years, our defense is better, we’re hitting harder. Our offense is smoother,” said Noah Finnegan, a senior and outside linebacker for the team. “We’ve definitely had a great season this year,” he said. 

“The fact that this season has been so great changes everything. Even the coaches say they’ve never had a team like this and this team is the best they’ve seen in a while. We work hard every day and we give everything we have on the field,” McAuliffe said. 

Between beating Rivals like Shaker and CBA, breaking a school record by getting 59 points in a half and more, the Plainsmen should be proud of the hard work they’ve put in since the season started. 

“[Our biggest accomplishment] I’d say is qualifying for states so far, and finishing the regular season with a perfect record,” Finnegan said. 

“Our biggest accomplishment is going undefeated in the regular season. We didn’t lose once and we beat CBA for the first time in like three years!” McAuliffe said. 

“Honestly, making it this far is a victory,” Vozzy said. 

Even though they didn’t ride the bus back, beaming over a victory, the Plainsmen still rode back to Shenendehowa Campus with their brothers. The fact that the Plainsmen gather and chant ‘Family!’ before each game isn’t for no reason… They do it because win or lose, they’ll have their teammates to support them. “I feel like we’ve always had this culture and a family type vibe,” Vozzy said.

“Now we’re just looking forward to winning the next game because we get the opportunity to play again,” McAullife said.

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