The Poets’ Football Team looks to redeem themselves from their winless 2021 season, with the 2022 season kicking off earlier this month. It has been a rough past few years for the Poets, and they would like to forget the underwhelming 2021 season. Despite starting the season 0-3, this year seems to be different; the energy has seemed to have shifted. Having familiar faces, along with new additions in all areas of the field, there’s no telling what this team can be capable of when it comes to the remainder of the upcoming season.
Fourth-year offensive lineman Samuel Magadan explained the change in scenery, “[t]his team is hungry for success. We got a lot of good leadership on the team coming from every level, and everyone wants to push the team in the positive direction. I think last year we had some difficulties getting everyone on board with a winning mission. However, this team truly feels special, and more importantly, ready for positive change.”
In May, the Poets’ football team announced their captains for the upcoming season. The four captains include seniors Matt Buchanan, Jacob Hayes, Samuel Magadan, and Enrique Santana. These players were chosen by their teammates to be captains of the 2022 Poets Football team. These are athletes who the other team members respect and trust to guide the team in the proper direction. But with great power comes great responsibility.
Magadan described the feeling of being able to represent his team as one of the captains, as to be chosen by his teammates, “There’s no greater honor in sports than to be elected by your team as captain. I plan to represent the team and my guys to the best of my ability both on and off the field. I think with the help of the other senior leadership, this team is on track to do some big things.”
Fellow teammate, linebacker Enrique Santana, further emphasized his joy, along with the privilege to have the opportunity to captain, saying “I was excited and honored when told that I was chosen by the team to be one of our captains for this year. As captains, we are held to a higher standard than the rest of our teammates, but I see it otherwise. I like to hold everyone to the same standard as us because that influences the team to become leaders themselves.”
With a new season comes goals and aspirations for the future of your team, and the Poets are no different. Santana discussed what this team strives for: “Our goal as a team is to reach our full potential through each practice, weight room session, and in the classroom, everyday. Just as in every season, there are challenges that will come, but I try and remind everyone daily to remain focused and to trust in the process. If we all give our 100% each day, the work will pay off and show on Saturday’s,” said Santana.
Santana was one of three Poets to receive All-SCIAC honors in the 2021 season. He earned Second-Team All-SCIAC with 74 total tackles (47 of the solo variety) in nine games, leading the entire conference. This year, he looks to continue to dominate on the defensive end. Santana, along with many of the other Poets, have shown their willingness and determination to take this team to its highest.
“I can honestly say that this is the most driven I have seen the team in all my 4 years here. We have lots of returners, most of which have been here since 2019 and contributed to our 3 win season that year. Everyone on the team is brought into our team’s philosophy of reaching our full potential and it has made the competitiveness go up greatly…Although last year was rough for us, we have something to prove and it’s giving us a bigger intensity and focus going into this season.” said Santana in terms of the culture change for this team.
The Poets’ team received an overall lack of hope as a consequence of last season. “Being dead last in our conference’s ranking is understandable due to the reflection of last year’s season, but we want to prove people wrong, and I think that is what’s giving us an edge right now… we all are excited and ready to start the season off,” said Santana.
Through their first three games of the 2022 season, multiple players are performing at a stellar rate. In terms of defense, Santana leads the team with 25 total tackles across three games. Teammate Aaron Martinez is right behind him with 20 total tackles, as well as both Mark Martinez and Andres Ruvalcaba both having 14. However, the offense has been slow to begin the season. With just 4.3 points per game and 128.3 total yards per game, there is room for improvement. Juan Estrada has rushed the ball with 76 total rushing yards at 3.5 yards a carry. Receiver Jalen Jolley has caught 8 receptions for 129 yards along with a touchdown catch. Having yet to win, there still remains six games to be played
Although this is not the way the Poets hoped their 2022 season would start, there is still much to look forward to. The future continues to look bright in terms of Poet football. This is a team that can bounce back, a team capable of overcoming adversity. Their next game occurs at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, October 1st,when they host Cal Lutheran, so go support our peers in purple and gold. Go Poets!
Photo Courtesy of wcpoets.com