Red Lion Football: Team bonds like FAMILY in Fall 2019
By Ryelee Stone
The lights were brightly shining, the commentator’s voice was booming, and spectators of all ages were beginning to form a crowd for a Friday night football game.
The highly anticipated senior night football game between Red Lion and Dallastown on Friday, Oct. 25. was the last game of the 2019 football season, so the pressure was on the Lions to win.
It was 14-7 going into halftime. Dallastown got the ball back and scored on their first possession of the second half. The Wildcats scored again and went into the fourth quarter with a 21-20 lead .
The Lions would get a few defensive stops and score one last time to take the lead 28-21, and they didn’t look back.
“The best part of the game was beating Dallastown on senior night on our home field in front of a big crowd,” said cornerback and captain Kobe Martin. “The key was everyone working together as a team, and everyone doing their assignments.”
“Ending the year beating Dallastown is always a success,” head coach Jesse Shay said. “Of course we wanted to make the playoffs, but that is not the only measure of success.”
Even though the Lions won their last game, the overall record for the season was 6-4.
Red Lion was undefeated for the first part of the season with the hopes that their fate would be as good as last year’s record when the team advanced to the playoffs.
The blowout game against Central York that ended with a score of 58-7 changed that momentum.
Red Lion’s student section was quiet and sat down during the middle of the game, while some spectators left early.
“The game was mostly dull,” junior Mauriana Lower said. “There just wasn’t much happening that the student section could be excited about.”
The football team was not able to connect their passes, which ultimately hurt them in the end.
“We need to fix what’s wrong and move forward,” coach Shay said in his post-game speech. “Let it sting. Let this one sting.”
The Red Lion vs. Central York football game was a loss, but the turning point of the season was the SouthWestern game.
“We didn’t execute well,” senior captain Kobe Martin said. “It seemed like people were down the whole time and we couldn’t get anything going.”
This loss may have discouraged the team and affected how they played from that point on. The South Western game was an opportunity for the Lions to prove themselves, but they lost the game 17-14.
The Lions had one more chance to redeem themselves on their Homecoming game against New Oxford. They lost with a score of 27-0 on Oct. 11.
“All hope was lost,” said wide receiver Randy Fizer. “You’re supposed to win your homecoming game, but we didn’t.”
There were more losses throughout the season. On Oct. 4, Red Lion lost to William Penn 18-0 at their field. There were still wins that the team could be proud of during the season.
The Lions topped the Bobcats with a score of 41-28 on Sept. 27 at Horn field. Red Lion also won at Spring Grove on Oct. 18 with a score of 26-13.
“I think overall the boys played well together and really embraced the ‘FAMILY’ motto this year,” football manager Starr Sandt said. “They played for each other, with each other even though the outcome was not what they had hoped for.”
Red Lion’s football team had to overcome many injuries from starting players. During this time, the seniors continued to lead the team while some underclassmen had to fill in certain roles.
Even though the Lions did not have a perfect season and did not make the playoffs, the team bonded together.
“When you lose a football game, it’s devastating,” coach Shay said. “But you have a whole team to lean on to get through that feeling.”