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The Final Game

How Senior Football Players Felt After Playoff Loss

After a hard-fought battle, the football team fell short in their third round playoff game against South Oak Cliff, losing by a score of 31-42. While this loss impacted all the players on the team, for seniors like Thomas Pritchett III, it carried a little extra weight.

“I was really upset about [the loss],” Pritchett said. “And just overall realizing that my season is over. I’m a senior and I’m probably not playing in college so it just made me feel really sad.”

Wide receiver and defensive back Stetson Sarratt (12) shares a more optimistic point of view.

“I mean obviously it sucks,” Sarratt said. “It’s not how we wanted to go out. I feel like we were up at half time and we had it won, but it wasn’t my last football game ever and I think it’s harder for the people that it was their last football game.”

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The Jaguars held a 28-10 lead over the Bears at halftime, only to be outscored 28-7 in the second half. Defensive end Maxim Newton (12) shares his thoughts.

“I feel like certain groups could’ve performed or did their job better,” Newton said. “In the first half we were performing, and maybe we let it get to our heads and decided to relax a little bit.”

Pritchett expresses a similar opinion.

“We had a really good first half and capitalized on all of their errors,” Pritchett said. “But in the second half we didn’t play as well and they took advantage of weaknesses we had on the team.

When the whistle sounded signaling the end of the game, the Heritage players had a variety of reactions. Many just stood there in shock, while others walked silently off the field. Spanish teacher Lourdes Edwards shares what she saw.

“All the seniors [were affected by the loss],” Edwards said. “But I have a good relationship with Stetson [Sarratt] so I felt that one. He was sitting, very quiet, very serious. He was trying not to cry and he only stood up when his mom and dad came by. That was hard to see.”

Although their season is over, many of the seniors are planning to take advantage of the extra time they will have on their hands. Sarratt shares his plans.

“I’ll probably just get ready for college,” Sarratt said. “Training and lifting and trying to put on weight and get faster. I plan to play football in college, but I don’t know where yet. I’ll probably commit after the new year, but I’m still weighing my options.”

Newton also has aspirations to continue his football career at the collegiate level.

“I plan to be an Aggie,” Newton said. “They haven’t gotten back to me [about my application] yet. I’ll probably have to walk on because I talked to the coaches and they were like we have our recruits already.”

Pritchett shares his slightly different post-graduation plans.

“I plan to probably still be involved in football in some way, but maybe not play it,” Pritchett said. “Maybe I will go rec league at the college, but I mostly plan on just getting my work done and focusing on my degree.”

But even though their futures are bright, many of the seniors are still trying to come to terms with the fact that their high school football careers have come to an end.

“It still hasn’t really hit me yet,” Newton said. “That I’m a senior and our season is over. I don’t get to play football for Heritage anymore.”

This story was originally published on Jaguar News on November 30, 2023.