By Kennedy Curley | Staff Writer
The varsity football team finished the season 5-5 with a division record of 4-3, and a playoff loss against Jesuit. They started off the season slowly with a 1-4 record in the first five games but won four of their last five games.
The varsity team started out with a disappointing 26-21 loss to McKinney, with two opportunities to win late in the game, both of which resulted in turnovers. They followed that game with a 49-42 victory over South Garland, a blowout loss to McKinney North, an upsetting 48-30 loss to Richardson and another blowout loss to Highland Park.
“We were upset after the first five games because we believed that we gave away two of those losses that we had,” senior Kaleb Gillenwater said. “We had a new and stronger mindset going into the last five games because of that.”
They started the second half of the season projected to lose to both Mesquite and North Mesquite. The final scores of both games had completely different outcomes than the projections did, with a 52-41 win over Mesquite and a 31-21 win over North Mesquite.
“We already knew what it was like to have everyone think we were going to lose,” senior Rob Kuhne said. “We came out in the second half of the season with something to prove because we knew we were better than 1-4.”
The last three games of the season became crucial to the team’s seeding in the playoffs. The three remaining games were against Lake Highlands, Mesquite Horn and Berkner, and at least two wins were required to make the playoffs.
“I wasn’t really worried about losing out on the playoffs,” senior Kasra Karimi said. “I knew we could beat Lake Highlands, even though they had a similar record to us, and we could for sure beat Berkner. Our biggest challenge was against Mesquite Horn.”
They ended the last three games with a 32-22 victory at Lake Highlands, a 55-14 loss at Mesquite Horn and a 35-20 win over Berkner. The final win over Berkner clinched a playoff game against Jesuit in the first round, where the team lost 59-7.