In preparation for the upcoming season, I interviewed three players (Andy Throgmorton ’19, Christian Owen ’20, and Teddy Jacobsen ’20) from the Casady football team as a chance for them to offer their primary thoughts about the season. The players’ presence in person and on social media has been especially optimistic and determined, which has not always been the case with past teams. Much of this can be accredited to the strong bond these players have with one another and their coaches. Without further adieu, here’s what Casady football has to say about their refreshing philosophy.
What have you done, either personally or as a team, to bounce back from the loss against Holland Hall in the season opener?
Andy Throgmorton (Team Captain): We have all been practicing with more effort and focus than before. With Holland Hall being one of the better teams we will face all year, it’s easy to look at that game as a complete failure; however, it seems like we are using that as a learning experience rather than a loss.
Christian Owen: We took the loss of game one pretty hard as a team because we’d worked extremely hard in preparation for it, and to lose as we did was difficult. We bounced back from it by coming into practice on the following Sunday only focusing on the next game and what we needed to do to prepare for it. Losses are tough, but you can’t let one game affect the rest of the season or even the next game.
Teddy Jacobsen: With the loss to Holland Hall, we’ve had to adjust some things as well as move some players around to different positions in order to spread out our talent as much as possible.
What do you think is the team’s biggest bright spot this year?
AT: Definitely our youth. Only about 7 of our players are returning starters, and a decent number of the new starters are underclassmen. It’s a trial by fire in a sense, but they are learning quick. You can notice the younger guys’ improvement each and every practice. It’s great getting to help them as upperclassmen and see how much better they’re getting.
CO: The team’s biggest bright spot this year is definitely our energy. Even starting at the beginning of the summer I could tell that we had a lot of positive energy and drive. We have been able to use that energy to keep a positive mindset and make the most of our practices.
TJ: I think our biggest bright spot is our motivation. Despite the early disappointment, we’ve stayed resilient and we continue to work hard day in and day out.
How have the coaches helped you all grow as players?
AT: Our coaches have been extremely supportive of us. This is the hardest I’ve ever seen the football team practice, and they have done a great job by getting on us when we are lacking in effort some days. They put in the extra time to figure out how to adapt the play calling to the team’s strengths and weaknesses, knowing most of their work happens behind the scenes. We could never show them enough appreciation for everything they do to shape us not only as athletes, but also as people.
CO: The most striking attribute of the coaching staff is their want to care for the team both on and off the field. They view us as players, and treat us as such when we’re on the field, but outside of football they are still there to talk and help. I think this has created a bond between coaches and players that translates to how we perform and interact in-game.
TJ: Each and every coach has shared their experiences and wisdom with all of us, whether it be football or the real world, so we can become the best versions of ourselves.
What do you expect for this season?
AT: I honestly think an SPC playoff berth is not unrealistic. With how much better we are getting and how quickly we are getting there, I would not put anything past us. The fact of the matter is we probably played harder against Holland Hall than we did for the first 2 months of last season. This team has incredible heart, dedication, and respect and love for one another. Once everyone gets on the same page, I think we are definitely going to hang with the best of them come November.
CO: Going into this season, I expect a lot of growth. We have a relatively small roster and because of that, younger players have to be ready to step up and fill spots when needed. I’m extremely excited to see the change and improvement of the team, so we expect to be ringing that bell a lot more.
TJ: I’d like to assume this season will bring the success this team deserves, especially because of the motivation I mentioned before.
What is the most fun part about playing on the Casady football team?
AT: In my four years of high school football, I haven’t been a part of a team that likes each other as much as we do. There isn’t any trash talking, tearing down, or hostility between teammates, which is a first. Everyone has done a great job of welcoming the new players into our locker room, and we are all just having fun. The biggest key, in my mind, to us being positive is that we all trust the process. We knew going into the season that we didn’t have the same amount of experience as previous teams have had, and we all know that we need to practice with a purpose every day to improve. The friendships that have already been formed this season are some that will last lifetimes, and I cannot wait to see what we can accomplish as a team.
CO: The most fun part of playing Casady football is the camaraderie. Playing a sport like football creates a connection between players that is indescribable. I know that those guys will have my back on and off the field, and I think that’s a very special thing to have.
TJ: My favorite part of playing football is the camaraderie and friendships I’ve made on this team. We really push each other because we want the best for one another.
I’ve noticed that, both on social media and in person, the team seems to have a very positive attitude regardless of what happens on the field. As you know, this hasn’t always been the case with other teams in the past, and it’s very refreshing and exciting to see. Why do you think this team, in particular, is special?
TJ: Because we’re a smaller, young team, we’ve had to rely on younger guys to step up and contribute more than they have in the past. We all realize that this is the ultimate team sport and we need everyone to be accountable and prepared, which I think has helped us become closer as a team. We’re just really excited about our potential, as well.
This team is one of a different ethos–one so positive and forward-thinking it allows for more progress than ever before. And unlike in the past, this team is focused on only that: progress. They know that with this winning comes, and they know that paranoia regarding a season record can only be counterproductive.As they have shown, these players knew that they wanted something different for Casady football. They knew they needed something different for Casady football.