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Football Tackles Losing Streak

Marcos Lagios (11) prepares to take a snap

  The final whistle sounds and the crowd roars. The players rejoice. Just like that, Piedmont’s football team has ended their losing streak, winning their first game in over 14 months.

  On Sept. 8, the PHS boy’s varsity football team won their game against Mt. Eden High School, by a score of 46-7, according to MaxPreps. Since then, they extended their winning streak to three games. Their streak was broken on Oct. 7, in a loss against Alameda, making their current win record 3-3. 

  Last year, the team went through the entire 2022 season without a varsity win before its cancellation. Bradley Smet, Director of Athletics, said that the losses they faced were attributed to a number of reasons, one of which being the pandemic, which seriously affected the team’s composition. The class of 2020 was fairly large, and with this size came a substantial number of varsity football players. Smet said that when these students graduated, the amount of upperclassmen on the team plummeted.

  “We had a flow [with] the current senior class and last year’s senior class that were very small in numbers, which led to some deficits and difficulties with the team,” Smet said.

  Additionally, during the pandemic, the structure of Piedmont Athletics was modified in a number of ways. Sports were condensed into two seasons, as opposed to the typical three, and were moved to different months of the year. Due to this reorganization, many students chose to stick with their primary sport rather than playing football. This year, however, Piedmont has seen a reemergence of multi-sport athletes, many of whom play football alongside an additional sport. 

  “We’re getting to the point now where we’re starting to see more kids playing multiple sports, not just a single sport,” Smet said.

  Moreover, the pandemic’s effect on the team’s numbers was further exaggerated by injury. While injuries are common in football, the team was disproportionately affected, since their roster was already small to begin with. 

  Issues regarding the size of the varsity team are much less of a concern this season, with 26 players on the roster, compared to last year’s 17, according to MaxPreps. 

  There have been other changes, specifically regarding the team’s league. Every two years, there is a realignment process for all sports within WACC, where coaches sit down to discuss what league teams should be playing in. There are three separate leagues to choose from: bayshore, mountain, and foothill. Historically Piedmont has played in the mountain league, and last year, due to their low numbers, the football team didn’t play a league schedule opting for an independent schedule. Smet said that, this year, however, it was decided that they would play within the bayshore league, considering their size, location, and level of play.

  “The main idea for a league is to have competitive, local games. That’s why there’s some shifting within leagues,” Smet said.

  The football team has also recently added new coaches to the staff this year. 

  Varsity Head Coach Jordan Seiden, who has been the head coach since the 2022 season, said he believes that the football team’s ability to grow has been another factor that led them to their first win.

   “I try not to look at the outcomes as much as the process,” Seiden said. “I just want to see them grow, get bigger, better, stronger, smarter.”  

  Seiden said that the team has also faced some adversity this season. The lack of a home field and high AQI numbers have forced the team to find workarounds, such as practicing in PMS’s Multipurpose Room. 

  “We definitely made the best of a difficult situation. Everybody has,” Seiden said.  

  Since getting their first win, the team has become even more motivated.

  “The energy has skyrocketed for sure. Every week for practice, every day, when we’re out there working, everyone knows this is what is going to get us to keep winning.” said junior running back and middle linebacker Tommy Ashton. 

  Ashton also said that in order to maintain their winning streak, the football team must continue this driven mentality. 

  “Obsession beats talent every time, so as long as we keep bringing effort every day, we should keep it going,” Ashton said. 

  Their recent wins have given the team hope for the rest of the season, with many of them looking towards the future.

  “As a team, our goal is definitely to make playoffs and make a run in playoffs. I definitely think we have the capabilities to do that. It’ll take a couple more wins this season, but I definitely think we have what it takes,” junior wide receiver Sam Shelby said.

  Shelby said he believes that the team’s increase in spirit combined with their fairly new coaching staff is something to capitalize on.

  “We’ve been unsuccessful for so long, so seeing success in our program was a huge step for us. I think we can now build off of that success, and it will have a large impact on the rest of our season,” Shelby said. 

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Ryo Woltag
Ryo Woltag, Staff Writer
Ryo Woltag (11) is a Staff Writer for TPH.
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