The Howell High School senior class of 2013 is more than just a group of educated students. Among them are aspiring artists, musicians, writers and athletes who started high school together just four short years ago and are now leaving and beginning their adult lives in the real world. Throughout the past four years, the HHS seniors have created memories that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Football, soccer, basketball and hockey games are some of those signature memories. Every student loves being able to show school spirit by painting their faces and dressing up to spend the night watching the big games with their group of friends. For seniors though, this year was their last opportunity to cheer on and support our Howell sports teams. Any senior athlete could have been stepping out on the field, court, rink, etc., for the very last time as a player this year.
“I always loved getting ready for the Friday night football games and having the pep assemblies at school for Homecoming,” says senior Megan Stamper.
Prom is something that almost every senior looks forward to at the end of the year. It’s considered one of the last big events that the senior class is brought together to enjoy a night together. After being together and seeing each other every day for years, prom was a special way for the seniors to reconnect and cherish every last moment together in a different way.
“I really loved prom and dances in general. The entire getting ready process was so exciting for me,” says senior Shannon Saunders.
Foreign language classes often take trips out of the country to get a better understanding of the language students are studying. Senior Rachel Keller was fortunate enough to visit France her junior year with the French group. She explained that taking French throughout high school was the smartest thing she’s ever done. Keller was able to see famous landmarks that some people may never see in their entire lives.
“Our trip to France last year changed my life and I wish in the future I can go back,” says Keller.
Everyone knows that when you’re a senior, you’re on top. Underclassmen look up to you as mentors and ask for helpful advice with classes since you’ve already been through it. You also get to attend special senior-only events like the senior hayride, the picnic, and senior skip day. Overall one of the most exciting parts is that teachers finally realize you’re practically an adult and allow you to earn that extra respect you never thought you would get in high school.
“I loved the freedom I got from teachers this year. They gave me more leeway with my assignments and stopped treating me like a kid,” says Nick Green.
Big changes come for seniors after graduation. They essentially become adults and are in charge of the rest of their lives. For some, the change will come naturally and others might struggle at first until they get used to their new daily lifestyle. Seniors planning on attending college in the fall will soon be faced with the challenges of meeting new friends and dealing with no longer being able to see their closest friends from HHS every day.
“I’m going to miss being able to see all the different people at Howell High School – everyone has a different personality here,” says senior Mitchell Bailey who plans to attend Grand Valley State University next year. “It’s obvious you need to make a change after high school and every one of us will make new friends when we go to college, I’m sure of it.”
Around this time of year, the junior class gets eager to graduate and is somewhat jealous that the seniors get to leave. The high school experience goes by so quickly and seniors Daniel Terry, Makenna Wallentine and Paige Engerer encourage underclassmen to enjoy every moment. “juniors are excited now but they will be so scared that it’s over next year,” says Engerer. It’s obvious that not all seniors are wanting to walk out the doors and start their lives on Wednesday afternoon. Either way, the senior class of 2013 is a great one and each and every graduating student will do great things in the future.
“The excitement and rush of it all is really kicking in. I might actually miss this place,” says senior Bruce Goulah.
Senior year is always an exciting time as students prepare to wrap up high school and move on to college. Senior year involves a lot of lasts, and for athletes, they want to make their last seasons the best ones. I chose to interview seniors in different sports and let them reflect on their past seasons for Howell athletics.
Kendal Bayer- Softball (Calvin College)
Softball has always been Kendal’s passion. From playing softball at an early age she entered her sophomore year making varsity and playing first base and outfield for the Highlanders. Kendal was a major contributor to the team her junior year batting third and playing first base. She received All District 2012 and is a MHSAA scholar athlete as a junior.
“I’m going to miss my teammates a lot. Over the years we have all gotten so close and for sure the best memories were the team bondings,” says Bayer.
Entering her senior year Bayer was voted as one of the captains on her team. Before the season started she automatically had high goals for not only her team but herself.
“I worked out alot more to become stronger and faster than I was before in order to make this year my best,” says Bayer.
Bayer looks to receive her pre-architecture degree from Calvin College while also playing softball for the Knights.
I’ve learned that no matter what give everything you have on the field, plus more. You can’t go back so you might as well make sure you made the very best of it,” says Bayer.
Pete Cender- Football, Track, Basketball (Air Force)
Without a doubt the triple sport athlete. Peter Cender, is the best athlete in his class. Cender received his varsity letter in track his freshman year and was moved up to varsity his sophomore year for both football and basketball. With Cender being as talented as he is, many scholarships were offered for multiple sports, however Cender choose to stick with football after signing with the Air Force Academy. At the Air Force Cender looks to major in business management.
“My favorite memory from high school was making it to the Regional finals for football my sophomore year. It was exciting that we made it that far,” says Cender.
Cender recieved 1st Team All League, and 1st Team All County honors for football. For track he made All-State in Discus. In basketball, Cender made 1st Team All League, and 1st Team All County.
Entering his senior year Cender had a lot of goals he had set for himself and in order to achieve those goals he started running and working out a lot more.
“My advice for your senior year is to go as hard as possible because you never know when your last play is going to be.”
Natalie Stone- Track, Swimming (Oakland University)
Natalie Stone has always had a passion for running. While running both cross country and track in middle school, Stone decided to stick with track when it came time for high school. Earning her varsity letter as a freshman, Stone competes in the 400 meter dash, the 4×4 relay, and the high jump. Stone earned All County Track Team, was a state qualifier in the 4×4 and was nominated captain her senior year.
“Entering my final season I’ve tried keeping a positive attitude and treating every meet like it will be my last. I don’t take anything for granted, I make every practice and meet count,” replies Stone.
Stone says that she will surely miss the meets and being able to hangout with her teammates. Next fall, Stone will be attending Oakland University to study microbiology and hopes to continue playing sports in the intramural league.
Lance Lys- Basketball, Soccer (Washtenaw CC)
Lance Lys was a duel threat in two sports, soccer and basketball. Lys played varsity partially for freshman and sophomore year while played full on varsity for his junior and senior year, starting as the Howell goalie. Lys was pulled up for districts for basketball sophomore year and varsity for junior and senior year and played forward for the highlanders. Lys planned for his final season leaving it all on the court and the soccer field.
“My favorite memories were beating Brighton 3 times in basketball senior year and going to the district game, also being able to play with my best friends,” says Lys.
Lys plans to attend Washtenaw Community College then transfer to the University of Michigan to specialize in physical therapy.
“My biggest advice is to leave it all on the court and give it all you have cuz it could be your last chance,” says Lys.
Claire Garrison- Soccer (Western Michigan University)
Claire Garrison is the definition of the ultimate soccer player. Spending a majority of her time practicing the sport she loves, she has stepped up this season into a leadership role to guide the highlanders to a successful season. Garrison plays forward, center, and midfield and managed to achieve first team all league last year as a junior.
“Soccer has always been my passion and entering my final season I wanted to make it one to remember. I want to help lead my team to one of the best seasons that Howell soccer has ever had,” says Garrison.
With high hopes for her team Garrison continues to push the team at practice and also her competitors. Garrison plans to attend Western Michigan University to major in nutrition and minor in exercise science. She is considering the opportunity to walk on to play soccer.
“With your final season you want to remember to work hard and leave it all on the field, that way when the time comes for it to end you have no regrets,” says Garrison.
Bryan Stroinski- Swimming (Kings University)
Bryan Stroinski has spend many hours in the pool becoming the best swimmer he can possibly be. All his hard work landed him four years on the varsity swim team where he competes in multiple events. These include the 50 Yard freestyle, 100 yard butterfly, 100 yard breaststroke, 200 yard breastroke, 200 yard medley relay, 200 yard freestyle relay. Stroinski is an accomplished swimmer setting the 100 butterfly record, being a four time state qualifier, two time all conference, two time all county relay team. Coming into his final season Stroinski prepared not only physically but mentally.
“I trained in the offseason both physically and mentally. The physical side is important but if you have a weak mind you won’t perform well,” says Stroinski.
Stroinski will be attending Kings University in Bristol, TN where he plans to become a sports psychologist or physical therapist while also swimming for Kings University.
“Have fun with your last season. When they say that it goes fast. It does. Make it last. Have no regrets and just go and enjoy the sport you love to play,” says Stroinski.
Andrea Render- Basketball (Albion College)
Andrea Render has been a dominate and game changing post player for the lady highlanders basketball team. With receiving KLAA All Conference and First Team All Country her junior year, Render had high hopes entering her senior year. Unfortunately, a season changing injury put her on the bench for most of her senior year. Render never quit, she came back half way through the season but once again, injured her knee finishing her senior basketball season.
“I learned that you have to always give it 100%. You never know when your last game will be. When it’s your last season you have to make it your best,” says Render.
Render will be attending Albion College next fall and plans on playing basketball for the lady Britons. Render plans to study nursing.
Out of all the high school football teams in Michigan, 100 of them were selected this year for an award. The Howell Highlanders football team was one of the 100 chosen.
The award sprouted from the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association partnership with the National Guard as well as the Michigan High School Athletic Association. Officials’ ratings that were provided after each game of the 2012 season were used to choose which schools should get this award.
“Anytime a team or program receives a sportsmanship award, I think it is important because it reflects on all of the players and coaches and it’s a team award. It is a big deal because the rating comes from the officials and their interaction with our players and coaches. It speaks of the positive attitude and behavior of our team,” says football varsity coach, Aaron Metz.
Just the top 100 teams rated for their sportsmanship will receive a banner recognizing their achievement. The schools who have won have gotten or are expecting a call from their local Guard recruiter to arrange a presentation of the banners.
Schools in Howell’s league which have also been honored with this award include Hartland, Pinckney, Grand Blanc, and Milford.
“I think our team acted and showed respect to the officials and our opponents and competed at a high level. It shows we are a class act here at Howell High School,” says Metz.
As of late, most Detroit Lions fans have been upset. No, they have not only been upset with the fact that the Lions had an upsetting 4-12 record in 2012, but for the fact that Detroit hasn’t had a stable running back in quite some time. Some fans may argue that the Lions haven’t had a “true” running back since the great Barry Sanders donned the Lions’ uniform.
That may have just changed with the recent blockbuster signing of Reggie Bush. Yeah, you heard that right, Reggie Bush. The same Reggie Bush who won a Heisman Trophy during his time at the University of Southern California, (an award given to the best college football player at the end of each season). The same Reggie Bush who was constantly in the headlines every week after he was the second overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft. Yeah, the Lions just signed a superstar, and they will have him for the next four years. The contract is worth 16 million dollars.
“Reggie Bush is definitely one of the most highly-touted free agents that the Lions have signed in a while,” says big-time Lions’ fan Lance Lys, a senior at HHS.
Once Bush hit the free agent market, it was merely a dream for the Lions to sign him. After visiting a few different teams, including the Arizona Cardinals, Bush just felt like it was the right fit for him to become a Lion.
Bush may be the most effective running back the Lions have had since Barry Sanders. This team has the potential to be very competitive because defenses will now have to respect the running game while being prepared for the passing game.
Another big aspect of the deal is the fact that Reggie Bush will be able to complement Mikel Leshoure in the backfield. Leshoure, being the bigger player, will pair up very nicely with the faster Bush. In his past, Bush has proved be very good as a receiver out of the backfield, which just adds yet another weapon to the Lions’ offense. He is also a very good punt returner and can help out in terms of the weak special teams. There is no reason that the Lions shouldn’t be in the playoffs next season and competing for a Super Bowl with the talent that is on this roster.
“Hopefully he can go out there and give Detroit a chance to win every Sunday,” says Lys.
It shouldn’t be outrageous to expect Bush to rush for over 1,000 yards and to give the Lions a legitimate playoff push for the upcoming season.
“Hopefully he can be the next Barry Sanders,” says Lys.
Kaci Cunningham isn’t your typical sophomore female. The 5’7” sophomore is a three-sport standout athlete, competing in football, basketball, and track.
“With juggling three sports I always have something to do, “says Cunningham, “plus I meet all different people who are involved in sports.”
Cunningham’s first high school sport is football, where she is the only girl in the program.
“Football is challenging. You have to be able to keep up with all the guys. Even though it gets hard you have to fight though what everyone else may say about you and prove to others that you can keep up with the guys. I love proving people wrong,” says Cunningham.
Cunningham started football in 6th grade playing on the Howell Football Jr. League. Upon reaching high school, Cunningham started on the freshman team her freshman year and moved up to JV her sophomore year. Next year she looks to make an impact on varsity.
“I want to be the first girl in Howell history to score points at the varsity level,” says Cunningham excitedly.
Cunningham plays wide receiver, kicker, and cornerback. She first got interested in football by playing it with her dad and watching it on TV. Her parents pushed her to do well and taught her that she can succeed in whatever she puts her mind too.
“Football has made me stronger and taught me not to give up so quickly. It has made me a better athlete and person.”
After the fall football season ends, Cunningham moves right into basketball season, playing point guard and shooting guard for the Highlanders. Cunningham has played on JV both her freshman and sophomore year and brought solid leadership to the team.
“I grew more confident this year, and I learned how to be an effective leader,” says Cunningham.
Cunningham was a key piece of the JV Highlanders success. While also being a dominate leader, Cunningham was a leading scorer for most of the games. She played both point guard and shooting guard, while also racking up the number of offensive and defensive boards for her team.
After basketball season, Cunningham rolls into her favorite sport and passion: track.
Cunningham started competing in middle school where she attended Threes Fires. During seventh and eighth grade Cunningham smashed the old school records and set new records in the 100, 200, the four by 200, and the four by 400.
Cunningham’s success didn’t just end in middle school, however. Coming into her freshman year, Cunningham earned a spot on varsity and competed in the 100, 4 by 100, 4 by 200, and 4 by 400. Last year she tied the high school record in the 4 by 400 as a freshman.
“When I first started track I only did it for fun. Then I realized I was actually really good at it and I began to take it more seriously. Now I push myself to be the best I can,” says Cunningham.
Cunningham looks to keep going with the sport, hoping to attend Michigan State or Alabama to study physical therapy. One day she hopes she can go to the Olympics.
“Athletics have taught me a lot about life and having to respect not only yourself but other people. Also, it shows that you can do anything you set your mind too.”
Why would two brothers care about the Super Bowl this year? Yep, you guessed it, the brothers coached against each other.
John Harbaugh, head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, battled his brother, Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. You rarely see brothers who are coaching in the league at the same time, but coaching against each other in the Super Bowl? Unheard of. Some fans may say this is impossible, regardless of what anybody says, this was the most improbable Super Bowl of all time, because it was the first time two brothers have EVER coached against each other on the biggest stage of the NFL.
The Ravens may have a more appealing story, considering this season was the last year for legendary linebacker Ray Lewis. Don’t sleep on the 49ers’ journey, though. Second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick has only started nine games in his career going into the big game, third fewest among quarterbacks who have started in the Super Bowl. That’s something that people don’t see every day.
As for Jim Harbaugh, Lions’ fans remember him for the post-game scuffle he was involved in with Lions’ head coach Jim Scwartz. Nevertheless, he is loved by fans and alumni of the University of Michigan, as he was a stellar quarterback there in the late 80′s and he went on to become a great NFL quarterback.
John Harbaugh has spent his football career mostly as a coach, starting locally as an assistant coach at Western Michigan and working his way up through the ranks to become a star NFL head coach.
The Super Bowl was one to remember, from Beyonce’s awesome halftime show, to the fact that this game came down to the last few minutes. In the end, John and his Ravens were victorious over John’s 49ers. You can probably bet that these two coaches will be remembering February 3, 2013 for the rest of their lives.
Here is a list of the top 10 NFL players in the game in my opinion based on my review of the 2012 season and who I would most want on my favorite team
10. Maurkice Pouncey
- Maurkice was the 18th overall pick in the 2010 draft. In his rookie year he was named to the Pro Bowl and as an All-Pro. At just 23 years old he has many good years ahead of him. “Pouncey has put together two dominant seasons for the Steelers and established himself as the top center in the NFL.” –Daniel Jeremiah (nfl.com). He is one of the driving forces behind the Steelers running success.
9. Aldon Smith
- Smith was the 7th overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft for the San Francisco 49ers. In his rookie year he had 14 sacks from his outside linebacker spot, and this year he is poised to break the single-season sack record, as he had 20.5 this season “Great creativity. Smith shows opponents something new every time, attacking oncoming blockers with an array of moves.” –Marc Sessler (nfl.com). Smith has been compared to a young Charles Haley and is viewed by many as the best pass rusher since Lawrence Taylor was in his prime.
8. NaVorro Bowman
- Bowman was a 3rd round pick in the 2010 NFL draft and had 143 tackles a year ago, good for best on the team. This year he had 149 this season. “He checks every box on a coach’s LB wish list.”- Daniel Jeremiah (nfl.com) Some people are even calling him the best inside linebacker in the league, even better than his teammate, Patrick Willis, who is widely regarded as the top linebacker in the game today (foxsports.com). Bowman was recently named 1st team All-Pro.
7. Dez Bryant
- Bryant was a first round draft choice at number 24 overall by the cowboys a few years back. This year Dez has finally lived up to his potential with 92 catches for over 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, despite numerous injuries, including a broken finger that will require surgery. Dez is a big play receiver and a physical presence in the redzone (foxsports.com).
6. Andrew Luck
- Luck was the number one overall pick in the 2012 draft, and was the most heralded prospect since Peyton Manning. He recently broke Cam Newton’s mark for passing yards by a rookie in a season with 4,374 in. He also had 23 touchdowns and has the Colts in the playoffs after going 2-14 last season (nfl.com).
5. Rob Gronkowski
- “Gronk” has redefined the tight end position with his fierce blocking and soft hands. In just his second season in the league he led all tight ends with 90 catches, over 1300 yards and 17 touchdowns, breaking the mark for tight ends in a single season. “I’d also rank him as the second best red-zone target in the NFL behind only Detroit’s Calvin Johnson.” – Daniel Jeremiah (nfl.com). Gronkowski finished with 55 catches and 11 touchdowns; although he has missed five games due to a broken arm leaving fans to wonder how good he could have been this season.
4. AJ Green
- Green was a first round draft pick in 2011 for the Bengals. In his rookie year all he did was catch over 65 passes for over 1,000 yards and 7 touchdowns. (nfl.com) Although defenses keyed on him, his rookie year still ranks better than that of Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, two of the top receivers in the league. This season Green had 1,350 yards and 13 touchdowns. Look for Green to be at the top of most receiving categories for a very long time “He has ideal size, short-area quickness, deep speed and ball skills. He also has the toughness to work in the middle of the field.” – Daniel Jeremiah (nfl.com).
3. Matthew Stafford
- The number one overall pick by the Detroit Lions, Stafford is the youngest player to ever throw for 5,000 yards in a single season, as he did it at the age of 23. This year he nearly passed for 5,000 yards again, as well as a big factor in the production of Calvin Johnson’s record setting year. He has shown great toughness, even throwing a game winning touchdown pass with a separated shoulder. Stafford has one of the strongest arms in the NFL today. “He should be one of the league’s elite signal callers for the next decade.” -Marc Sessler (nfl.com).
2. Von Miller
- The number two overall pick by the Broncos last year, Miller stepped onto the field and was an instant success. In his rookie year he had 10.5 sacks in 11 games before breaking his thumb. He has been called the next Derrick Thomas for his ability to rush the passer and drop into coverage equally well. This season Miller had 19 sacks and 6 forced fumbles, along with 2 more in the playoffs. (si.com)
1. JJ Watt
- Watt was drafted by the Texans in the first round of the University of Wisconsin. In his first year in the league, Watt had six sacks, and also an interception for a touchdown in the playoffs. This year Watt has raised his game to another level, he has 20.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and 16 passes knocked down, a league record for defensive lineman. J.J. “Swatt” as he is known as in Houston is changing the way defensive lineman are looked at, and could be the first defensive lineman to with MVP since Lawrence Taylor in 1986
College football’s bowl season lasts from December 15 until January 7. Most fans are used to seeing conferences like the Big Ten or the SEC (Southeastern Conference) dominate bowl games every year, but these past bowl games played out differently. There was a much wider range of conferences spread out in the games.
Let’s start off with the MAC (Mid-American Conference), which showcased seven teams. Remember, this conference is a bottom-feeder in the college football world, so it is tradition, if you will, that MAC teams play in the lower-tier bowls. There was a special team from the MAC this year, the Northern Illinois Huskies. You may be wondering why they are labeled as “special”; well, they ended up playing in the Discover Orange Bowl against the Florida State Seminoles. The Orange Bowl is one of the premier bowl games, and this was the first year that any MAC team was invited to this kind of game. They ended up losing 31-10, but still they had a terrific season. All in all, the conference ended up with a 2-5 record.
On to the Big 12. This was a conference that featured the Texas Longhorns, who are historically the best team in this conference. The Longhorns were matched up with the Oregon State Beavers in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Texas won 31-27. Even though there were strong showings from a couple schools here, the conference ended up at 4-5 all together.
The Big Ten, in recent years, has not had success in the national spotlight. The trend continued this year, as the conference posted a 2-5 record. In the famous Rose Bowl, Big Ten team Wisconsin lost to Stanford with a final score of 20-14. As for the local teams, Michigan State finished the year on a high note, winning 17-16 in the Buffalo Wild Wings bowl against Texas Christian University. The University of Michigan lost a heartbreaker of a game against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Outback Bowl. In the final seconds, Michigan watched their lead disappear as they lost 33-28.
The conference of the Pacific Coast is named the Pac-12. Stanford won the Rose Bowl and the Oregon Ducks played in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl against Kansas State. Oregon, of course, won this game 35-17. The conference finished with a 4-4 record.
For the SEC, featuring Alabama, winning three of the last four national titles. Winning championships has become normal for the SEC, as of late, the conference has won seven straight national titles. The conference boasted a 6-3 record, but the dominance was much deeper than that. Winning 42-14 in the BCS National Championship, Alabama beat Notre Dame to continue their control over college football. The Texas A&M Aggies and their star quarterback Johnny Manziel were in one of these top-of-the-line bowl games, the Cotton Bowl, against Oklahoma. A&M won this game handily with a score of 41-13. Other teams that won were the Georgia Bulldogs, Mississippi Rebels, and Vanderbilt.
As the story shows, the SEC displayed their power over other conferences in the bowl games this year, and it will likely continue.
The Howell Highlander football team lost 41-27 in the first round of the playoffs to Walled Lake Northern Friday, October 26. The team finished with a 6-4 record. Howell started off the year with a losing record, but turned it around in the second half of the year.
“We kept the same routine throughout the week. We were the only two teams in the county who were practicing,” said coach Aaron Metz after the playoff game.
Walled Lake Northern averaged 51 points a game this year. The Highlanders had mixed emotions after the game, ranging from disappointment to pride in their performance.
“They were proud of the work they put in this year,” said Metz.
There was a different feeling going into the 2012 playoffs this year, with some senior players not able to participate due to end-of-season injuries. Many of the young team members had to pitch in to do good things for Howell.
Despite keeping the game close at 7-7 at the end of the first quarter, there were plenty of mistakes in the first half for the Highlanders. With Northern scoring 21 unanswered points, the score was in Northern’s favor, 28-7. Senior Zeb Garza stepped up in the second half to help get the offense going, but wherever Howell made mistakes, Northern capitalized and stifled the Highlanders’ defense.
With the official season now over, another one will begin. Currently, Howell will lose eight seniors, but there are some talented players to watch out for in the future, including juniors Kyle Scott, John Brennan, and Jake Sanchez. These three were starters. Throughout the year, the standout seniors included Cam Englund, Scott Wetzel, and Cody Wiggins.
“We had a lot of younger guys step up this year and made some big plays. It was a good season,” said Metz.
The regular season is coming to a quick end for Howell football. With the team getting off to a slow start, going 2-3, they now haveto win every game to proceed to the post-season
Last Friday, October 12, our Howell Highlanders took a win over the Lakeland Eagles 31-12. They are currently on a three game winning streak, and just one win away from going into the playoffs.
The game against Lakeland was Howell’s last home game and also senior night.
“All of the seniors got to play on their night, and they played well. Every player played,” says head coach, Aaron Metz.
“We played one of our best games this whole season and really came together as a team,” says senior safety Tyler Lassitter.
Senior quarterback Jonny Cheshire passed for 151 yards. He completed 10 out of 13 pass attempts. Cheshire had a 38-yard touchdown pass to junior fullback John Brennan, who also had another touchdown.
At the end of the first quarter, Howell led 7-0. Going into the second half, Howell had a nice cushion with the score now 17-0.
The Highlanders had shutout their past two opponents prior to this game. Up until the final quarter of the game against Lakeland, Howell had shut them out as well.
“We did what we had to do and took care of work here tonight. We have to continue and keep this momentum. The team has the mentality that we are not going to lose,” says junior defensive back Joe Olszewski.
Olszewski finished out the game with an interception, an on-side kick recovery, and also a fumble recovery.
In just the third play of the game, senior feature running back Vincent Patritto separated his shoulder while making a tackle. He was out for the game after that.
Sophomore Damian Menoch stepped up into Patritto’s spot and played very well. Menoch had 99 yards on 26 carries which led all of Howell’s ball carriers.
Late in the game, leading receiver Scott Wetzel limped off the field with an injury as well as Patritto.
“We had a slow start, but we have gotten much better. We really got moving and we have been successful,” says Metz.
“Our season did start off rough, but as a whole I feel we have bounced back well,” says Lassitter.
Injuries to Howell football this season has been epidemic. Tight end, Peter Cender, was absent on the field the entire season. In turn, the team reacted well to the devastations. It forced other players to step up and play to their potential.
Juniors Kyle Scott, Joe Olszewski, and Jordan Leyder are a few of the major players who have stepped up their game this season.
On Saturday, October 20, Howell will go up against Jackson Lumen Christi who is currently 8-0.
“This will be our toughest game and we have to prepare for it like it is. We have as good of a chance as anyone. We just need to work hard and do what we need to do to get the win,” says Lassitter.