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The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

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A night to celebrate, seniors take the field

Larissa Almendras
Seniors Ej Hines, Ethan Mapstone, Elijah Goldsmith and Raymond Gatlin Jr. meet in the middle of the field at Ocean Lakes High School for the coin toss against Bayside High School on senior night Oct. 20, 2023

Proud to call themselves a Dolphin, 14 seniors walked into the last home football game of their high school careers.

“This group is such a good group because they have worked hard for the past three years,” said head football coach James Yeager. “This group makes up for sloppy games with tough ones. They also play through injuries and continue to show us how they improve.”

The team has battled with many issues such as overtime; however, they found that playing in the rain and the pressure from their student and parent section gave them the encouragement they needed to succeed. 

“My favorite memory this season would be beating Kellam in a triple overtime this year,” said senior Raymond Gatlin Jr.

Many of these seniors played for the majority of their lives, yet they continued to show improvement until the end of the season. They practiced for 20 hours, five days a week since the middle of summer.

“Even though I haven’t coached them the entire time, I have still seen improvement,” said Yeager.

Football has helped to develop these players, not just as athletes, but in their personal lives as well.

“I started playing when I was six. Playing football was like a missing puzzle piece that my life needed,” said senior Clarence Rodgers. “It created lots of opportunities and helped me develop useful skills, connections and friends.”

While some of the seniors plan to play next year at the collegiate level, few of them have chosen not to. 

“I don’t plan on playing ball at the next level, so this is my last time playing a regular season game at home,” said Ethan Mapstone.

A number of underclassmen look up to the seniors. These seniors inspired their teammates to work harder on the field as they pushed themselves during practice.

“The seniors this year had something to prove. I felt they increased the way I worked and played by teaching and helping me become a better football player,” said freshman Cole Defindi.

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About the Contributor
Larissa Almendras
Larissa Almendras, Staff Writer
Larissa Almendras is a sophomore and a first-year journalist for The Current. She enjoys taking pictures for Ocean Lakes sports, reading and watching movies. She hopes to attend James Madison University and pursue a career in photography.

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