First varsity football game of the season builds anticipation of what’s to come

The cheer team, the spirit boys and onlookers of the game, pose for a photo.

Hannah Levenson

The cheer team, the spirit boys and onlookers of the game, pose for a photo.

Hannah Levenson and Angeli Thompson

High school football. Not just any high school football game: the first football game of the season. Solon High School (SHS) played against Hudson last Friday, hoping to score a strong win for the start of the season. The theme of the game was a white out, and most of the high school students were dressed to impress during the game and brought their school spirit. 

Football Team

Junior Edward Taylor, who plays on the varsity team, was the star of the field that night, scoring four touchdowns for the team. Senior Zach Nathanson scored the following touchdown for the team. The final score for the end of the game was 35 to 49, Hudson coming up on top with the winning score. 

Junior Wide Receiver Joel Kpassou, felt the team could improve the tackling aspect for the next game and the rest of the season.  “Coach Bubonics was talking about how tackling is an attitude, and that attitude a lot of people didn’t bring on Friday, and I feel like we need to bring that attitude to come tackle. [We need to] sacrifice our bodies to bring [the opponent] down,” Kpassou said.

Kpassou also talked about the strengths of the team. “One of our strongest points [is] our team chemistry,” Kpassou said. “We just bond with each other and we [get along] with each other. But it takes more than just loving your teammates to win a game. [For] the next game we’re going to play with more passion, and more aggression.”

The pandemic has brought discouragement around the world, and has impacted how people go about their day-to-day lives, which includes school. Nonetheless, Coach Brian Wisniewski tries to keep that negativity and the talk about Covid down as much as possible with his team. 

“We focus on what we are able to do, not necessarily what we are not able to do,” Wisniewski said. “So there isn’t much talk about Covid, to be honest, in our program. Everyone in our program knows the procedures and expectations from that standpoint, but we are focused on getting better and being the best versions of ourselves at practice. We love playing at Stewart Field and the crowd Friday night is hopefully the new normal in Solon.” 

Wisniewski is getting his team ready for the crowds on Friday nights, hoping the pandemic does not ruin the game and that the team plays with everything they got. 

Even though Solon lost against Hudson the last game, the team will try and continue working toward winning the rest of the games they have this season. The team is not going to let one setback ruin the season. 

“I love coaching for this school and community,” Wisniewski said. “I have had the opportunity to coach a lot of great student athletes who have gone on to do amazing things. I look forward to continuing that here for a long time. The word coach is a sacred motto to me, they don’t call you coach without players. So all of my focus is on making those players understand their potential and strive everyday to be the best.”

Spirit Teams

The spirit teams gold, blue and white, were introduced to Solon students in the beginning of the school year. SHS Principal, Erin Short, believes that by introducing the spirit teams people will become more enthusiastic about showing up to support Solon athletic teams. 

“I’m also really excited because we are starting this new initiative called Solon Spirit Challenge, or the Solon Comet Challenge. We have teams, hopefully we are going to generate a lot more energy throughout the year to support each other in all of our events,” Short said. 

Not only is this new idea a way to connect the school, but it also creates a friendly atmosphere and a fun competition that the students and staff can participate in. 

Spirit Boys

The Spirit Boys wore blue, white, and gold wigs, not only to signify the Solon colors, but to also represent the new spirit teams. Spirit Boys can be found in the stands, dressed up in colored costumes that represent the theme of the game and getting the crowd pumped for the game by cheering on the football team. Spirit Boys, Nick Kitay and Brandon Silverstein, think it is beneficial for students to come to football games and show spirit given last year’s lockdowns. 

“Solon colors have been a big pride ever since I was a little kid coming to these football games.” Kitay said. 

Silverstein believed the game is all about spirit no matter the outcome.

“Win or lose, we’re gonna be cheering hard,” Silverstein said.

Senior Varsity cheerleader Neveah Porter on the night of the Solon VS Hudson football game. (Hannah Levenson)

Solon Cheerleading

The Solon cheerleading team made appearances throughout the game, cheering on the football team throughout the night. Nevaeh Porter, a senior on the cheerleading team, spoke of the differences between cheerleading with Covid precautions versus cheerleading with an audience. 

“I was kinda nervous because it’s been a while since I’ve been out and about without Covid, [and] without precautions… I was nervous, kinda scared, but now that I’m here [and] now that I’m ready, I’m hyped, I’m like yeah, let’s go,” Porter said.

Porter explained that when masks were removed from practices, getting back in the flow of practices was easier as they now could communicate better with each other. She was ready to get back on the field with an audience watching. 

Marching Band

The SHS marching band was on the side of the field, playing music to cheer on the football team. The halftime show featured songs such as “Let’s Groove”, “Rock and Roll all Night”, “YMCA” and “Twist and Shout” which got the audience up and moving. They also made sure to hype the football players up when they scored a touchdown or made a good play.

Senior tuba co-section leader Joseph Ferencie feels that the band was ready to be back in action after an unusual band season last school year. Although there was marching band last year, Ferencie feels that the vibe was off from previous marching band seasons. Freshmen and sophomores are experiencing their first regular season. 

“I feel the freshmen are pretty darn excited… I’ve seen [the freshmen] bouncing up and down… [and the sophomores] are really confident right now. They look really good,” Ferencie said.

Solon High School Starlettes. (Angeli Thompson)

SHS Starlettes

The Starlettes gave their performance during the halftime show. They danced in front of the marching band, showing their Solon spirit by demonstrating cheers that included gymnastics. 

Senior Dance Captain of Starlettes and Music in Motion, Sarah Stanton, said the pandemic made people feel unmotivated. Stanton feels that by having practices and performing in front of an audience has improved the team relationship. 

“Since [the Starlettes] had so much time apart, I feel like now we cherish that time we get to spend together a whole lot more than we used to,” Stanton said. “I think it’s brought [the Starlettes] a whole lot closer.”