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The Student News Site of The Village School

The Viking Press

The Student News Site of The Village School

The Viking Press

The Viking Football Team: In The End Zone

The Viking Football Team playing in the Homecoming Football Game. Photo taken by Viking Media.

Students gather at the Viking Stadium on Friday night to watch another night of Friday Night Football. Fans know what happens on the field, but what about at practice? What about the locker room? The Viking Football team is led by Devon Stevenson, Philip Masik, Andrew DeBenedictus, and Owen Fan, a leadership team of three seniors and a sophomore respectively. The Vikings tough it out on the field, but the bond the players have is the most critical part of the team. Being able to help each other improve while making memories together is one of the best aspects of this team. The Viking football team is essential to bringing a sense of community to the village. Students and parents come together every Friday, and even more so during Homecoming, the biggest game of the season. The Viking Football team is only heard about, defined by their scores, and seen as one team, but no one has ever read between the lines and fully understood the team. This article will explore a view of the team from two of the captains of what goes on in the team, as well as the progress over the years and the sense of community they bring to The Village School.

Devon Stevenson came to The Village School in his junior year in 2022. “I heard about Village and their athletics after I joined originally for academics,” said Stevenson. Stevenson has had a fantastic senior season, scoring 5 touchdowns this season with 64 completions and 142 attempts. With The Village School being a smaller school with a different approach to athletics, the management style is different from a public school. “It was challenging at first getting used to a new system, a new way of doing things, but over time you kind of just adapt, and you get into a habit,” Stevenson said. “One of the major differences was, I would say, Saturday practices.” Stevenson transferred from Bellaire High School, where he was also on the football team. “At Bellaire, I have practice in the morning, but here we have practice in the afternoon So having to dedicate the extra time after school, and staying mentally focused and locked to finish practice was a tough change,” Stevenson says. Additionally, The Village School has a smaller student body, therefore having a smaller football team of 31 athletes. So, when compared to Bellaire High School’s football team with 73 players, one can see just how big of a change this was for Stevenson. Stevenson took a leadership position right off the bat coming to the school, “It’s different when you’re hearing from a coach versus when you’re hearing from an actual player.” Says Stevenson. As an authority figure in the team, many of the underclassmen and even rising freshmen on our Middle School football team look up to Stevenson. 

Another large attribute to the team is Philip Masick, the Viking’s senior defensive end. “I think since I was a sophomore, the amount of people we’ve had on the team has been a factor, like, we’ve had a lot more players interested in football,” said Masick. Masick transferred to The Village School from Memorial High School, where he immediately was indulged in a new team structure. He talks about how he sees many differences between his old high school and The Village School. Especially now that he holds a leadership position within the team, more eyes are on him when results from a game come out or something happens to the team.“I think here at Village, they care a lot more about building a team instead of positions,” said Masick. “At Memorial, it was a lot more isolated to the position you’re playing, and you’re only seeing that group of guys, whereas at Village you’re hanging out with the whole team,” Masick explains.  The Viking Football team creates a strong bond between its players in and out of practice, with team dinners and constant sessions at the weight room, the team’s bond plays a large role in the management and structure of the team.

The Viking Football team changes its leadership every year, but through the continuous cycle of new team members joining and adjusting to new captains, the team essentially has to restart every year, and still manage to beat out their scores from the previous season. The Vikings have had highs and lows over the past few years. After the big win in 2019, winning the TAPPS 5A C championship, wins have declined since the five-game winning streak in 2020 before it was shut down due to COVID. Since then, 2021 has had a year of zero wins and 10 losses and 2022 had one win and eight losses. The 2023 season has been one of comebacks, with four wins and five losses. Although scores are a large part of the team, the sense of community the Vikings have is unmatched. While working hard on training and plays, they simultaneously work on their relationship with one another.

The Village Viking football team will be back next year, with new members, new captains, and a new set of games. As they power through their season and work hard toward the next, they keep up stamina and the bond they have built from the previous years. Go Vikings!

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About the Contributor
Kristina Roux
Kristina Roux, Writer
Kristina Roux is a first-year writer for the Viking Press. She is an avid dancer on the Viking Spirit Elite Team, passionate about economics and politics, vice president of the Formula 1 Enthusiasts Club, and ultimately loves to write. Kristina chose journalism as an outlet to express her opinions and to grow as a writer, as well as learn more about writing in general. When she isn't writing, she's listening to music, dancing, hanging out with her friends, reading, or cooking and baking.

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