“Hard Work Beats Talent” on the Football Field


Darae Lyles and Miriam Johnson

Under the Friday night lights, the Cats proved themselves as a hardworking and successful football team  by achieving a 6-4 season record. This season was a triumph to the team compared to the 1-8 season they finished with last year.

Sophomore Amari Hutson, offensive and defensive player, was proud of his team and knew that the team’s chemistry brought them far this season. “We put the team before any one person,” said Hutson. “Brotherhood and communication are big reasons for our success. If one person was slacking or having a rough game or practice, we still had a strong support system of love and encouragement that backs us up.”

During the season, the team had four games where they shut-out their opponents. They kept them from scoring and dominated both the field and scoreboard. In the games against Centennial, Mt. Hebron, Hammond and Marriotts Ridge, Wilde Lake, won 45-0, 55-0, 43-0 and 42-0, respectively.

On offense, the team ran the ball as much as possible, and on defense, the boys threw the opposing quarterback off by pressuring them.

“As the saying goes, you practice how you play,” said Allen Ngue, the team’s leading rusher.

The team spent the summer participating in 7v7 workouts, spent every day after school practicing, and constantly watched the film of their past games to improve their plays.

This season senior Osita Smith, wide receiver, ran the most touchdowns. Smith is committed to play football at West Virginia University next year.

The players agreed that the coaches of the team are dedicated, skilled and encouraging. “They always tried to find a way to push us to our limit by putting us through obstacles. Even though they showed a lot of tough love, it was to get us to meet the expectations they had for the team,” said sophomore Will Parker, a linebacker on the team.

The team played by the quote that coach Henderson emphasizes. “Hard work beats talent,” and it is repeated over and over at practice and at games.  All players contributed in all the games.

Coach Henderson’s 4th year as a football coach ended with him proud of his athletes. “They accomplished so much this year,” he said. “It was a reflection of their hard work and their commitment.”

Next year, Allen Ngue, Jarrett Monah, Will Parker, and Amari Hudson out of the thirty-three returning players will be the ones to watch. “We had a good season this year, and we’re looking forward to another one next year,” said Coach Henderson.