Varsity football team wins first game in over a year

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Photo credit: GPN Varsity Football

At the end of the team’s first win, they ran together to form a celebration huddle. “It was a big moment, all the hard work during the offseason paid off,” Coach Drouin said. “That was the win to end a 16 game losing streak.”

By Grace Cueter and Sophia Dragich

Following a 0-9 record in the 2019 season, the Grosse Pointe North varsity football team won their first game in over a year. On Sept. 25 the team went up against St. Clair, leading 17-0. After the first win, the team has gone on to win an additional two games against Cousino and Warren Woods-Tower. 

The team and season has been different this year for head coach Joe Drouin. Drouin says that due to the urgency and uncertainty of Covid-19 restrictions, his players have been putting in the effort he wants to see. He also believes that the team’s success this season is in large part due to the outstanding upperclassmen leadership. 

“It’s a different feel than it’s been in the past,” Drouin said. “The amount of work the team’s been putting in and our senior leadership, they’re working a lot harder.”

Senior captain Timmy Cleland is relieved that the team is not going through the losses they did in previous years, and feels special to be one of the leaders of such a hard working and successful team. According to Cleland, the game against St. Clair was a very defensive game, although their offense was able to put some nice drives together as well, creating the win. He, similarly to Drouin, says that the team’s senior captains Colin Duffy, Joe Plieth, Kennard Williams and himself, have pushed players to their full potential. 

“The four captains all work really well together,” Cleland said. “It feels special being a captain leading a team because of how hard we work and knowing the leaders pushed out guys to be better.”

In addition to Drouin, junior Megan Eugenio has also noticed a change in the team. Eugenio feels the team has really grown since last season with its knowledgeable coaches, talented players and several wins throughout this season. Most notably, she sees their hard work and positive attitudes out on the field. 

“It’s good they have added some new faces on the sideline to help guide them and the running back (Kennard Williams) is also a very strong asset to the team,” Eugenio said. “Since the team has been winning games this year I think that has brought them closer together as teammates which helps them win.” 

Euginio has attended every varsity football game, and the players consider her to be one of their biggest fans. With Covid-19 regulations in place at the games, the amount of spectators has been greatly reduced. This has changed the vibe and atmosphere of the Friday night football games, according to Eugenio.

“The stands are a lot more empty and I miss seeing a full student section cheering. I love going and watching my friends, but it is a lot different,” Eugenio said. 

Drouin and Cleland both feel that with the team’s solid leadership and hard-working players, they are prepared to play well in the last few regular season games as well as in playoffs. Later in the season, they hope to advance past week two of the playoffs, going farther than a North football team has in several years. They have high hopes for the conclusion of the season, but believe they have what it takes to fulfill their goals. 

“We are going to surprise people in the playoffs,” Cleland said. “I believe we will do significantly better than last year.”