HEHS football team clinches playoffs, captures student body’s imagination

Anand Krishnan, Staff Editor

This has been a football season for the ages. From excellent blocking from the O-Line to amazing defensive interceptions and plays to the offense looking like they can score at will (scoring 332 points in nine games), our Hawks have shown a mix of determination and execution this season to go 4-1 in conference (7-2 overall) and clinch a playoff spot, while capturing the student body’s imagination in the process.

“I feel proud of our school because our successes on the field represent the Hoffman community in District 211 well,” said Himanshu Kalani, a senior who has rooted for the Hawks at every home game.

According to Adam Michalik, senior kicker, these successes are the result of the team spirit in the locker room. “I am a part of a team that will be there for [me] no matter what.

Coach Paul Moersch agrees, saying “Everyone has been getting better each week, and we continue to improve as a team.This positive team attitude isn’t just present on game days, however.

“Practices are intense with lifting and on-field practice. This team pushes each other as a team and as individuals,” said Michalik. The team understands that the only way to improve and keep winning is through hard work and dedication, which they have been putting in to achieve the positive results every Friday.

The work our boys have put in the weight room and practice field allows for, according to Moersch, “one of the greatest high school football plays I’ve ever seen” to come to fruition.

During a game against Barrington, which was also our Homecoming game, Damarion Anderson, senior, sacked the Barrington QB and caused him to fumble. Bryce Billingslea, senior, then picked the ball up and started running with it. As he started to get tackled, he tossed the ball backward to Jashawn Johnson, senior, who then scored an 80 yard touchdown.

The atmosphere created by the Hoffman Estates Blue Crew allows moments like these to be even more special. “Everybody came out in the theme [neon]. People were holding signs and were ready to cheer all night long,” said Luka Sparavalo, a senior, who is a Jedi, or leader of the Blue Crew.

Barrington was also Sparavalo’s favorite game because even as the rain torrentially poured towards the end of the game, most of the fans stayed and danced in the rain as Hoffman achieved a famous victory. “It was awesome,” said Sparavalo.

Now, with playoffs coming up, the mood is very calm within the football group. When asked how the team is preparing for the playoffs, Moersch explained “we take things one game at a time. [We] keep our focus on the week’s opponent.  Prepare during the week, and execute on Friday nights. That same approach will take us to the end of the season and into the playoffs.”

We’re hoping that Hoffman continues this stellar season and makes our school proud. One thing is for sure: this team will not go down without a fight.