The JV football team started the season off poorly, but looks to turn it around in big upcoming games.
The team faced off against rival Churchill on Sept. 20. They fumbled the opening kickoff, but were able to hold the defense for the entire first half. “Going into halftime I had confidence that we could win this game,” sophomore Jack Mehler.
They came out strong in the second half, blocking a punt and taking it all the way back to the goal line. They finished the drive as there was a fumble and sophomore Max Gracyalny jumped into the pile, recovering the football for a touchdown. “This was a big moment for me and we were all really excited,” Gracyalny said.
Former Wootton student Evan Cantor scored a touchdown late in the fourth quarter for Churchill, also kicking the extra point. The Patriots were unable to comeback and lost a heart breaker. “We fought hard all the way to the end, but came up just short,” Gracyalny said.
During practice the following week, four JV players were called up to varsity to fill roster spots and play key roles that the team needs. Freshmen Ryan McGraw and Chris Castelli, and sophomores Ethan Cohen and Mehler look to make an impact at the varsity level. “I am excited to play on varsity and continue to work hard and get better,” Mehler said.
Every day before practice the team has study hall to make sure they get their homework done and keep their grades up. “Study hall is good because I can finish my homework before practice, instead of postponing it until late at night,” Mehler said.
McGraw will join his older brother Justin on the varsity roster. “It is cool to be able to play with my older brother,” Ryan McGraw said.
Head Coach Ralph Bernando is also the coach of the boys’ varsity lacrosse team. “Coach Ralph is a good coach and he knows a lot about the game. He is the most inspirational figure I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting while playing sports,” sophomore quarterback Ben Ehrman said.
The team played away at Gaithersburg on Sept. 27. It was a hard-fought battle, but the Patriots ended up losing 35-12. Ehrman threw for two touchdowns. “I thought we played good offensively,” Ehrman said.
It has been a rough 0-4 start for the team, but the players have not lost hope. “I know that we can turn things around in the upcoming games,” Ehrman said.
The Patriots faced off against BCC on Oct. 4, too late to be covered in this issue.