Football Senior Night


Max Becker, Sports Editor

It was a surreal feeling standing in the bleachers that night, knowing that this would be the last football game I would attend as a Sahuaro Cougar. I can only imagine how many emotions our senior players felt, having dedicated their blood, sweat, and tears to this program for four long years.

It was a rocky season for our Sahuaro Cougars, and unfortunately one of the least successful seasons in recent history. The season began with an electrifying game against our rivals, the Sabino Sabercats, ending as a closely contested loss, but an instant-classic for our storied rivalry. It would take 5 games for the Cougars to claim their first win, but it came in dominant fashion, in the form of a 48-0 Homecoming win over Cholla High School. Our Cougars then followed up with an equally impressive 51-7 trouncing of Buena. Sahuaro would record one more win over Sunnyside before facing our final opponent of the year; Ironwood Ridge, who is currently ranked 21st in the State.

Although the game ultimately ended in a loss, there is no doubting the heart and soul of our 2016 team, who had to face seemingly impossible odds this season, including a season-ending injury of a starting quarterback, Nick Fountain. It was an emotional game throughout, as our hopes soared after jumping out to an early lead on Ironwood Ridge, before being dampened by a 21-0  response in the second quarter by the Nighthawks. By the time the clock hit 0 and the game was over, our Cougars had truly left it all on the field, many of them stopping to take one more teary-eyed look around the field they had fought so fiercely to defend all these years, before turning to embrace their loved ones eagerly awaiting them on the sideline.

Senior quarterback Kris McWilliams had this to say about the game, “It was the night that really ended my love. Although every player you ask will say they hate it, they truly love it. It was sad and fun at the same time. Playing that last game with my brothers is something I will never forget.”

In addition to our football players, our senior cheerleaders were also honored, a program that has greatly improved this year with the addition of a new cheer coach. Ashleigh Walker, senior, had this to say about her final game, “Cheering has meant so much to me and became such a huge part of my life over the last four years, so it’s really weird to think I’ll never cheer at another football game again. All the girls on my team are like family to me and thinking about having to leave most of them soon is so sad to me because I love them all so much. I couldn’t have a better team for my senior season.”

No matter what the outcome of the season was, we would like to thank our Sahuaro Cougars for all of their hard work, dedication, and sacrifices to our Football and Cheerleading programs.