More Than Just a Game

Football plays big role in students’ lives


Rebecca Tonkin, Fall 2019 Journalism Student

This season the Blue Valley Tigers will suit up to play for 13 games.

The team practices every day, and every other day they endure weight workouts.

“A normal practice is we come out on the field start with a warmup,” Taylor said. “Then we go through our fundamentals for about 30 minutes each day. We come together as a team, and we run through our offensive plays against a scout defense. We then run plays for an hour and a half, break it off and do some running.”

The team has been trying to rename what they’re known for and stand for, hence their slogan “Restore Order.”

“Football-wise, we had a rough season last year [and] we want to have a better season this year,” he said. “It also has implications in the community. We want the student body to be excited about football — more so than they have been in the past. But that being said, more and more people don’t want to come to our games if the football team isn’t respectful, kind and polite to the people in the school. We’re also trying to build character and be respectful to people, so they want to come to our games, and they want to celebrate with us. And in return we do that for them, we go to their games, we cheer for them, they cheer for us — it’s kind of one big community effort to restore order.”

During the football season, Taylor said football sometimes takes over his life.

“Football is a big time commitment; — it is very time-consuming,” he said. “We are playing football from January to November so we get December off, [but] it consumes a lot of your time. With that being said, it’s equally good. You commit all this time, but you get this awesome result out of it.

During the season the team spends more time with their football family than their real family. The team grows bonds and life-long friendships with each other because of how much time they’re with each other every day.

“I probably spend more time with my football family then my real family, you get to know everyone really well and make a lot of deep connections with guys,” Herzog said.

When people say the football team is a big family, Taylor said they truly mean it.

“It’s hard to describe if you’re not on the team,” he said. “The best way I could put it is [to] imagine a giant frat house and every football player is in the house — and that is the family atmosphere.

Taylor said football has changed his life and joining the team was one of the best decisions he made in high school.

“The sport itself doesn’t have to matter all that much [because] there are more important things like the friendships you make — and that goes with any sport,” he said. “The friendships you make, the lessons you learn and the people you meet ultimately take a higher priority than the game itself.

Through playing the game of football, Taylor encourages others to play high school sports.

“I play football because it’s something I like to do,” he said. “I appreciate the people that play football, and I appreciate the friendships I’ve made. Have a group you know, love and can interact with. You get this awesome group of kids that you can talk to any time you want.”