Eagles take on Holton Wildcats tonight
Updated Sept. 5, 2014
By Kelsey Johnson
The game that many people have been anxiously awaiting since it was first announced occurs in just a few hours. Silver Lake. Holton. Two powerhouses. First game of the season.
Coaches, players, and fans have been preparing for the game by practicing plays, watching game films, and buying Silver Lake apparel.
Senior Zach Boyd is most excited about playing different teams this year. Schedule changes have allowed the Silver Lake football team to play against teams that they haven’t seen in a while. The first game of the season is against 4A Holton, whom the Eagles have not played in many years.
“The thing that excites me the most about this season is the schedule change of many teams we haven’t played in a while, like Holton, Perry, Winfield, and Osage,” Boyd said.
Ziegler said there are advantages and disadvantages to playing Holton first.
“Our advantages are we can have things in our offense and defense they haven’t seen this year, and Holton is not sure of who all our starters are.
“The disadvantage is that some players don’t have any game experience. We are playing some players in this game that haven’t been in a varsity game yet,” Ziegler said.
C.J. Hamilton, head football coach, is busy prepping the players for this season. He said it is important for the senior leaders to step up.
“Physically, we have been preparing through our summer weights program and our off-season program for those athletes who did not compete in winter/spring sports. This summer, the seniors developed a rapport with the underclassmen by emphasizing the development of their leadership skills,” Hamilton explained.
Boyd said he will miss these memories the most.
“I will miss the preparation it takes before the games are played, summer weights, practices, and coaches,” Boyd said.
Freshman Trent Byers wants to reach for the State title. He said his inspiration is Caleb Kern.
“He always works hard and does what needs to be done,” Byers explained.
The seniors, as well as the underclassmen, have a lot of expectations to live up to this year. Winning the state title last year has set the bar high for this year’s season.
“Fans can expect to see a group of players that will play hard and be very competitive. Our seniors have all done a good job of getting us started in the right direction,” Hamilton added.
Boyd is ready to meet these expectations. He also has his own goals for this season such as many wins and a trip to the State Championship.
“My expectations are for us to be a team that works well together, win league, and go on to play and hopefully win the State Championship,” Boyd said.
It’s not always easy being a younger player on the team. Byers said he feels the weight of the expectations.
“Being a younger player on the team feels tough because you have to go against varsity to make them better.
“We should be pretty good because we have some returning starters, and everyone has been working hard,” Byers explained.
Each season’s team is unique. Hamilton said the size of this year’s team is a challenging factor.
“This team is one of the smaller teams we have had in a while. We have very few big offensive and defensive lineman,” Hamilton said.
According to Boyd, the players, speed, and the starters are what make this year’s team special.
“The team has a lot of returning starters, many that have been starting since sophomore year. We have a lot of speed and a team full of hard-working, determined men,” Boyd explained.
When it comes to game time, focus and speed are important aspects the players need to have.
“They must be physically and mentally prepared. Physically, they must be able to play fast and physical. Mentally, they must be able to remain focused on their roles for the team, even when bad things happen during the game,” Hamilton added.