Jenison takes on a team that’s not close to home

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Jenison takes on a team that’s not close to home

Gabby Hendel, Staff Writer

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Jenison Football storms into the student section.

On September 6, at David McKenzie Stadium, the Jenison Wildcats football team took on St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School. This experience was a unique game as it was Jenison’s first time hosting a Canadian team. St. Thomas More, national champs, traveled from Canada to verse the Jenison Wildcats.

At first, the schedule set the Jenison football team to go against Northview, but when they dropped out, Jenison needed a replacement. In search of a new team to face, St. Thomas More ended up filling in the spot. A surprising and exciting piece of news for the Jenison students lead many to come cheer on their wildcats.

The Cat Pack definitely did not disappoint. They filled the student section to the top of the stands to show support for their team. All the students showed up repping the theme, white-out, and even brought baby powder to top off the effect. The sound throughout the stadium was a clear demonstration of the fans’ excitement. The roaring of cheers echoed through the stadium as parents and students yelled. The high-pitched whistles and booming voices of the coaches only raised the intensity even more. Before the game began, the Jenison football team raced onto the field bursting through the banner. They lurched forward into the stands causing a frenzy among the student section as the players hyped up the crowd. 

One student in the Cat Pack, sophomore Ashlyn Barrett, commented “The Cat Pack was good, other than the cops taking the baby powder. I had a lot of fun meeting the seniors and talking. I think the seniors and juniors have amazing school spirit, but the sophomores and freshmen have to get louder, hahaha.” 

“We didn’t have any concerns of them being national champs. In the end, it was a football game that we prepared all week to win and one that we thought we were going to no matter who the opponent was. We don’t really worry about how good or how bad the team is. We play and we focus on doing our job.” ”

— Zymarius Walker

As the game began, few people were sure of the outcome. St. Thomas More came into the U.S. as national champs of Canada, but that didn’t stop the football players of Jenison. A player for Jenison that scored a touchdown for his team, Zymarias Walker, commented on his team’s thoughts about the opposing team’s ranking. 

He stated “We didn’t have any concerns of them being national champs. In the end, it was a football game that we prepared all week to win and one that we thought we were going to no matter who the opponent was. We don’t really worry about how good or how bad the team is. We play and we focus on doing our job.” 

Besides the fact St. Thomas More is national champs in Canada, people took another factor into consideration. How different would it be to play a school from Canada when they have different rules? Jenison football player, Zymarias Walker, commented, “There weren’t really too many differences because we played by our rules so nothing really changed for us.” 

After the game, I spoke with Zymarias and asked him what challenging team was up next. To which he responded, “Muskegon, they have a lot of talented players but if we are the best versions of ourselves every play, we will win.” 

In the end, St. Thomas More defeated the Jenison Wildcats, with a final score of 35-14. As Jenison gears up for their upcoming games, I asked Zymarius what advice he would give to any upcoming players.

He replied, “There’s going to be a lot of adversity, but keep trying and don’t quit. If you mess up a play, forget about it and keep your head up.” Most important, as the football players say, “make sure you’re in the fold!”

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