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A devilishly good football season

The rough turf of the field and the familiar texture of the bumpy ball are both feelings all Blue Devil football players are familiar with. Every Friday for the past few months, they fiercely battled other schools to prove their abilities while claiming victory. The 2023 season has come to a close, and the team had a year to remember. With an impressive 9-2 record, the first time a season has been this good since 1987, they dominated most of the competition while improving their skills. The varsity team this year also won several key events, including the North/South game, the homecoming match and the MAC White championship.

Many seniors set personal bests and accomplished a lot of their goals before graduating from the team. Starting defensive end Sean DeGrand ’24 said he was proud of his performance this season and of the team as a whole.

“My favorite game was Utica because it was the first home game with school in session,” DeGrand said. “The atmosphere was great and we dominated.”

Another highlight of the season occurred during the game against MAC Red Romeo High School, in which the Blue Devils shut them out 10-0 during their homecoming.

“Getting MAC Red crossover wins was a very big deal for our season,” DeGrand said. “It propelled us up through the playoffs.”

In addition to winning games against MAC Red teams, the Blue Devils won the MAC White championship against Lakeshore.

While the players put up great performances all season long that led to their stellar record, none of it would be possible without a great coach at the helm. Varsity Head Coach Chad Hepner has been at South since 2001 and is now in his second season as head coach. Hepner noted that several of the team’s main goals this season had been achieved as a result of their hard work on and off the field.

“We beat North, and that’s always a top goal of ours,” Hepner said. “We were also league champions; we were 5-0 in the MAC White division.”

Due to their record, they were able to qualify for playoffs and won the first round, extending the season an additional two weeks.

Next year, the current Juniors on varsity will step up to fill the spots left by the graduating seniors. Captain Josh Lemanski ’25 said he did his best to lead his teammates into every game and will be sure to do the same next season.

“That was such an honor to be given that leadership position,” Lemanski said. “Using it to get closer to friends on and off the field was so special, and leading them into battle and a 9-2 season was awesome.”

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Brian Foote '24
Brian Foote '24, Staff Writer
Brian Foote ’24 joined the Tower to express his opinions to his peers. As a first-year staff writer, Foote said he is excited to get writing.“I’m going to enjoy Tower because it allows me to express my opinions to my peers,” Foote said. Foote said he lived in Puerto Rico for six years, which has given him the opportunity to learn new things. Something he picked up over that time was rock climbing, an adrenaline and danger-filled sport. “Rock climbing is comparable to Tower because I’ll need to get over obstacles,” Foote said. “It also helps me to be a leader and problem-solve.” Foote said he also enjoys playing guitar, and if he's not, he’s talking about his life and experiences.“I enjoy playing guitar because it helps me be more creative,” Foote said. “As for talking, I just like having conversations about my various interests”.

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