Spring football game makes players happy

By Heather Moss


  When the Black Team beat the White Team 14-3 at the annual spring football game April 14, there were strong plays, solid defense and plenty of fun for fans, coaches and players alike.

With the changing of seasons and coaches, players have become more than just players in the program. From the captain’s draft to the post-game signing of autographis — the team seemed more than pleased. They were having fun.

Seniors Chaz Pavliska and Ty Warnasch co-captained the victorious Black Team over senior co-captains Dakota Mawyer’s and Andrew Mocio’s White Team. However, if asked by most of the players, winning the game wasn’t the point.

“We’d rather have a score of 0-0 because that’d mean defense was doing their job,” said defensive coach Brian Gamble. “But [teams] were good on both sides.”

It was a slow start. Neither team scored in the first quarter.

A four-yard, touchdown pass by Eric Massoni to Stan Sullivan put the first points on the board for the Black Team later in the second quarter. White Team’s Kielyn Lewis intercepted a Black Team pass, however, returning it for 27 yards.

In the third quarter, Saul Meza kicked a field goal for the White Team from the 44-yard line, The White Team was threatening to close the gap when the Black Team’s Jamarris Jones snuck in for an interception and a 98-yard return touchdown, giving the Black Team a 14-3 lead with 1:32 left on the clock in the fourth quarter.

Amid the sideline interviews that took place throughout the game, Jones was asked how it felt to go 100 yards. “Tired…” Jones said. “Real tired. Just had to step up and take it back.”

The Black and White teams shook hands and hugged post-game then proceeded to the tables set up at the crown of the track at Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium to greet eager fans for signing and photograph sessions.

“It was good to see such a great turnout [from the crowd],” said Massoni. “It was, by far, the most memorable spring game.”

Massoni also talked about the atmosphere of the team and the new direction of coaching under Larry Keenan, summing it up to one word: fun.

“As seniors, the realization has set in,” Massoni said. “This is it. We’re just giving it our all.”

The Cardinals proved their game on the field is in progress and going strong. However, that’s not the only thing coaches (and players) have to be proud of. The team’s average grade point average is 3.02, possibly “the best in the Lone Star Conference,” said T.R. St. Charles, director of Football Sports Medicine.

On Thursday, April 12, the faculty, staff and administration were personally invited by coaches and players to attend a first “Football Faculty Day,” by taking the field with the players during their afternoon practice. Faculty and administration ran around catching short passes, calling plays and engaging coaches and players in conversation about football.

“I am pleased with how the coaches keep up after the kids academically,” said Simone Brown, who is retiring after teaching religious studies many years at UIW. “They do the work. They pay attention.”


Leave a Reply