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Varsity football and cheer team host senior night match against Lindhurst

The+varsity+football+team+breaks+through+the+poster+after+halftime.+The+team+is+still+undefeated+after+their+win+against+Lindhurst.
The varsity football team breaks through the poster after halftime. The team is still undefeated after their win against Lindhurst.

The varsity football team breaks through the poster after halftime. The team is still undefeated after their win against Lindhurst.

Eric Fang

Eric Fang

The varsity football team breaks through the poster after halftime. The team is still undefeated after their win against Lindhurst.

by Eric Fang, Winged Post Global Editor

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Senior night for varsity football and cheerleading took place last Friday night on Davis Field. Varsity football won their annual senior night game 34-6 against the Lindhurst High School Blazers. This win marks their eighth consecutive win of their record-setting undefeated season.

Cheerleader seniors Olivia Long, Raveena Panja and Jessica Wang, along with football players Dominic Cea, Angel Cervantes, Rishi Chopra, Jalen Clark, Mitch Cole, Anthony Contreras, Floyd Gordon, Sunny Jayam, Nate Kelly, Jadan Mcdermott, James Pauli and all their respective friends and family were honored. All 11 of the football seniors began playing football in their freshman years.

Eric Fang
Senior Anthony Contreras walks out with his parents as his name is called during the senior ceremony. Both football and cheer held their senior nights during this game.

After the celebrations, Sumati Wadhwa (12) sang the national anthem while kneeling.

“First, I thought, we all obviously go to Harker, which is an extremely prestigious environment,” she said. “I feel like to break out of this Harker bubble in which we’re very sheltered in from most of the things that are affecting others that someone would have to take a stance in order to shed light on the situation, so in this case it was obviously the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement and anti-police brutality, so I feel like me kneeling was the way of showcasing to the public that even though we aren’t affected directly by these problems, it still occurs within our environment, and we should still take a stand against unjust systems like this.”

To start the match, team captains Anthony Contreras, Jalen Clark, James Pauli and Floyd Gordon met at center field with the Lindhurst team captains for the coin toss. The other seven Harker seniors stood in a row behind the team captains on the field. The Eagles won the coin toss and opted to receive the kickoff and start on offense.

The game began to a slow start, with neither team making significant progress until junior Aaron Smith managed to carry the ball only a few feet away from the goalline. The Eagles looked to be in position to score the first touchdown of the match until quarterback Nate Kelly’s throw was picked off by a Lindhurst Blazer inside the endzone. The first quarter ended 0-0.

In the second quarter, Harker looked to redeem themselves with a touchdown by Aaron in the middle of the second quarter. Kicker Dominic’s extra point was blocked following the touchdown. This was the only second unsuccessful extra point kick by Dominic this season.

Lindhurst called a timeout after an impressive sack by Devin Keller (10) and Jadan. Shortly after, Dominic missed a field goal, giving the Blazers possession of the ball.

Lindhurst wide receiver Jordan Gibson ran 21 yards to the one-yard line, and runningback Dru Caballero scored the subsequent touchdown. The Eagles blocked their attempted extra point kick, bringing the score to an even 6-6 by halftime.

After the Harker cheerleaders performed a routine for the audience, the cross country team and boys’ golf team walked onto the field and outlined a few of their past accomplishments to the audience.

Raveena thought cheering for the game and everything that led up to their senior night was a unique experience and unlike previous years.

“It was really exciting to cheer on the team, since we had not really done cheer senior night before,” Raveena said. “My teammates and friends also got presents and we put up posters and balloons before the game, so it was all really fun.”

Bobby Schick (12), Neil Ramaswamy (11) and upper school technician Alejandro Osorio played the tenor saxophone, drums and baritone saxophone, respectively, throughout the game.

“It is always great to play for the players because when the team make a great play, and [the band] plays a piece to respond to that, it puts a smile on everyone’s face, which makes me really happy,” Bobby said.

During the third and fourth periods, the Eagles redeemed their difficult first two quarters by scoring a total of four touchdowns by the end of the second half. Jared Anderson (11) scored a touchdown in the middle of the third quarter and, after a pick by Jared, Angel scored a touchdown with only 50 seconds left in the third quarter. Dominic scored extra points after both touchdowns.

By the end of the third quarter, the score favored the Eagles 20-6.

Anthony attributes the faulty first and second quarters to a lack of practice this week due to the air pollution caused by the wildfires.

“We had a really rocky start since we only had two days of actual practice in two weeks because of the air quality, but after halftime, we really stepped it up and that let us take the lead,” Anthony said.

In the fourth quarter, the Eagles strengthened their lead after touchdowns by Anthony and Aaron and two extra points kicked by Dominic.

With only a few seconds left in the match, the Lindhurst quarterback took the knee and conceded the game.

The final score was 34-6, allowing the Eagles to continue their undefeated season record of 8-0. This was the last home game for both the cheerleading and football seniors.

Dominic felt proud to have extended Harker’s never-before-seen season record and thought that senior night was a great time to spend with his friends and family.

“It is cool to have finally been the senior everyone was honoring, since I’ve been on the other side three years before,” Dominic said. “It was also a cool moment to spend with my parents and teammates.”

The team’s last league game is away next Saturday at Irvington High School at 7 p.m.

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The student news site of The Harker School.
Varsity football and cheer team host senior night match against Lindhurst