Friday Night Lights looking better than ever

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Friday Night Lights looking better than ever

Varsity football players stretch before starting practice.

Varsity football players stretch before starting practice.

Summer Campbell

Varsity football players stretch before starting practice.

Summer Campbell

Summer Campbell

Varsity football players stretch before starting practice.

Summer Campbell, Reporter

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At Urbana High School, football games are mostly played on Friday nights, resulting in the name “Friday Night Lights.” The Hawks played Clarksburg as the season opener and the first away game, coming home with a win, the score being 34-27. Last week, Urbana hosted Middletown at Legacy Field, the first home game of the season, once again winning with a final score of 20-13. For both games, the student section has been able to show up and support the Hawks.

Eric Kolar, a junior running back, said that the student section has “been getting us really hyped up” and that “it helps a lot.” During games, the students chant “E-ROCK” in reference to Kolar. Kyle Howes, a junior quarterback, referenced games from prior years, saying that this year it “feels like we have our community behind us when everybody stays and doesn’t leave at half time.” Junior defensive lineman Michael Schifano recollected the last seconds of the game on Friday against Middletown, when the student section counted down the game clock until it hit zero. “On that last play, when the final whistle blew and we looked up at the student section, it was just crazy to see how excited everyone was. That was something I haven’t seen in a long time.” He went on to explain how he had never won a home game before, causing him to never see the student section that lively.

Last year the Urbana Hawks went 2-8, and neither winning game was played at home. Schifano described this as “a rough past couple of years.” Owen Zink, a junior wide receiver, explained that last season was difficult for them “physically, mentally, and spiritually.”

With the past years behind them, the team has high hopes for this season. Zink described this season so far as “the season we have been hyping up for.” He then continued by saying the team has grown during the offseason. Mikey Gonzalez, also a junior wide receiver, supported that statement saying that the team has been working out more in the offseason. Senior offensive lineman Justin Karira agreed, explaining that this year the team “has more weapons and is more capable of scoring.” He also mentioned how the defense is better due to more work being put into the offseason. Howes explained that they prepare for the games by watching other teams’ film and looking at their strong and weak points. Howes shed light on the fact that this year “everybody has bought into the team.” Clearly, the Hawks have been working harder as they are 2-0 for the first time since 2013.

Howes expressed his optimism, stating that as the season goes on, the team will be doing more than they’ve shown. When asked about what he anticipates for this Friday’s game, senior linebacker Danny Marshall said: “A win.”

The Hawks will be playing this Friday at Legacy Field at 6:30 against Glenelg.

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