West Springfield High School Newspaper

The Oracle

West Springfield High School Newspaper

The Oracle

West Springfield High School Newspaper

The Oracle

Spartan football starts season off triumphantly

Spartans start strong: Hayfield
The Spartan football team found success in the opening game of the 2023 season, defeating the Hayfield Hawks 42-13. The game quickly got out of hand for the Hawks when the Spartans went up 20-0 in the first quarter. The match was defined by a spectacular performance from Spartan running back junior Mark-Anthony Whyte, who scored five touchdowns and rushed for 220 yards.

Spartans and Hawks do battle before the impending storm. (Photo courtesy of Alyssa Delmonico @DelmosFlicks on Instagram)

“I felt amazing, that was a real breakout game. Especially since there was a lot of beef over social media so it felt really good to silence [the opposition]. It was a great game,” said Whyte.
Tension was running high both before and at the game. Inflammatory social media posts were exchanged between both schools before the game and at the game Hayfield flags were allegedly stolen from their bleachers by rowdy WS students.
The game also experienced a second-quarter delay due to storms.
Overall, the game was a resounding victory for the Spartans, who hope to carry this momentum into winning the region, and possibly even into the state championship.

Spartan spirit: South County
The Spartan football team was narrowly defeated 9-14 by the South County Stallions. A close game throughout, notably defined by stout defenses from both sides, the game ended with a last-minute Stallion interception in the Spartan end zone, sealing a WS defeat.

The WS student section shows out for white out versus South County. Spirit days are an integral part of the WS football scene. Themes like western-out, jersey-out, USA-out, and lots of different color-outs help keep football games fun and exciting for all spectators. (Photo courtesy of Alyssa Delmonico @DelmosFlicks on Instagram)

Despite the rivalry loss, the game was defined by a zealous Spartan student section. The home bleachers were absolutely packed. Students began to overflow into parent sections and were told to sit rather than stand by the administration. Frequent calls for students to “move back” and clear up space in the front few rows were heard at the game.
“Fantastic!” said senior Sarah Hover, describing Spartan football. “We definitely have an amazing student section. We’re very school-spirited and I think that could lead us to a lot of wins.”
While the team may not have come away with the victory, Spartan spirit is stronger than ever, and optimism remains high for the rest of the season.

Spartan shutout: Oakton
The Spartan football team put on a brilliant 24-0 shutout against the Oakton Cougars. The game was defined by the Spartans’ strong defense. The defensive line held the Cougars to a shocking negative 27 rushing yards.

Number 72, senior Brady Echols, waves to the camera. (Photo courtesy of Alyssa Delmonico @DelmosFlicks on Instagram)

“I’m really proud of our guys. Not only are we the best defense in the region, and arguably the state, but the majority of us play both ways unlike most teams. We worked really hard in the off-season conditioning and that shows through our production,” said senior football player Jacob Kerr.
Senior Brady Echols was an important part of this defense, recording seven tackles, two sacks, and six tackles for loss.
“I had a good game as well as the team. We all stepped up and did what we needed,” said Echols.

Spartans secure victory: Yorktown
The Spartan football team secured a hard fought 14-7 against the Yorktown Patriots. The low-scoring game was a defensive struggle on both sides. Due to the Spartans’ stout run defense, the Patriots were forced to run many reverses or trick plays resulting in a high number of fumbles. The game had small student sections on both sides, especially after the majority of the Yorktown student section left after halftime.

Number 4, senior Devante Rudolph, receives pre-snap instructions from the coaches. (Photo courtesy of Brendan Talbot)

“I think I could take them,” joked Principal Micheal Mukai, referring to the few students in the stand. “That’s my quote, I think I could handle all 6 of them.”
The victory moves the Spartans to 3-1, albeit with much of their hardest competition ahead, and puts them on track to make the playoffs once again.

Story continues below advertisement
More to Discover