By Selena Lanham
It’s no secret that Batavia football has been in high gear. The high school football team has been on a winning rampage since the start of the season; according to the varsity football team they went into some games already having the idea and probability of them winning to then more intense games with emotions running high and not knowing what the outcome will be. The team currently has the winning streak of 10-0 this current season and has plans and high hopes to keep it going. To get an insight of the mindset and strategies they have used and will use for the rest of the season, The Spectator sat down with offensive line captain, senior Evan Holden to better understand the team’s outlook day in and day out.
Q: As one of the captains of the Batavia football team, what was your main strategy you used to get the team to where you are today (9-0) ?
A: “During halftime I give a pump up speech that usually entails something along the lines of reminding us (offensive line) that we are rough and tough and that we have what it takes to win and “kill” the other team.”
Q: Have you found yourself giving any other type of speech? If so, what?
A “Yes, so after team dinners, we speak to the team as captains giving the rest of the boys a short humorous speech each Then, we pick a fellow teammate at random to give a speech themselves and it keeps the vibe light and prepares us for the game that we will be playing tomorrow.”
Q: Explain some of the pre-game rituals you take part in.
A: “Watching videos of somebody I aspire to be like. Evan Day is motivating because he is a very aggressive player and he is very successful so I try to embody him as I play.
Q: Are there any superstitions that either you personally or the whole team believes in?
A: “Me personally, I’m not very superstitious, but I still do the same stuff before games like I always wear black underwear. My friend, John Bannos (center), and I would have a pretend lightsaber fight with the foam rollers before each game last year except the game against St. Charles North, which we lost this gave us the idea that the pretend fight was needed in order for us to win.”
Q: Describe the energy level on the field during and between plays.
A: “During plays, it is very energetic, especially I remember one play during the state game where I went up to the line and I got into my stance and I was trying to listen to the count given by Riley Cooper, but it was during third down so everyone was yelling and I couldn’t hear anything but the yelling which was deafening. This gave not only me but the other guys out there with me much energy listening to all our coaches yell and get excited. In between plays, the energy remains very high especially if one of my O linemen were beefing with the D line because then I would have to go over there and drag them away from the fight or argument so that we don’t get penalized.”
Q: How has the support from the Dog Pound and the parent sections of the crowd affect your attitude during games?
A: “It’s very helpful especially because not many people showed up to the games last year. This year the fan support has been tremendous, and I think it plays a huge part in the success that we are experiencing. When we hear the scream of our fans and see packed bleacher it inspires us to play better to make everyone happy. Like this one time I was on the sideline and ‘Party in the USA’ by Miley Cyrus, one of the greatest artist of our generation, came on and my heart was overflowing with patriotic feelings and those emotions I then expressed through dancing.”
Q: Explain the point of fatigue you hit during games.
A: “At one point during the Wheaton North game I was so exhausted I puked all over the defensive end which was the guy I was blocking. It started in the huddle when my stomach started feeling weird and I was like ‘uh oh, I’m going to puke’ and then as I ran up to the line and got into my stance I puked a little bit then I looked at the guy across from me and I said ‘I hope your ready’ at that point the ball was snapped and I grabbed the guy and puked all over him.”
Q: What is something you keep in mind that motivates you during more intense moments in the games?
A: “I will turn around and look up and search for the beautiful face of my girlfriend in the Dog Pound. When I find her, we make eye contact and then she smiles at me and I am inspired to play at an All-Conference level.”
Q: Who would you say is one of the greatest leaders for the team besides yourself?
A: ” The number one leader on our team is Luke Weerts (linebacker). He is another team captain and he always gets the team fired up. He started our saying that ‘the bulldog train keeps chugging.’
Q: What are your hopes for the rest of the season?
A: “I certainly hope we win state for the second year in a row. The main reason I want to win state is because I know this is my last season of football and I want to keep playing for as long as possible and I know that I will never experience anything like Batavia football ever again. I love the brotherhood that I have with my teammates and I want to spend as much time with them as possible.”