football’s Alex Armstrong describes last year's season-ending loss to Webster Groves as a horror movie.
“It’s like a movie where the one team has the last-second drive to win the game and they don’t win. It’s the most painful feeling, you don’t sleep, you don’t want to go to school. The only thing to get rid of that feeling is to go out and work,” he said.
The Falcons ended the 2011 season on a last-second two-point conversion to tie the game. They were stopped with less than a yard to go.
“It makes every bit of effort, every last push, every step you take that much more. You don’t want to be at the chance to go to the state playoffs and be stopped by a yard,” Armstrong said.
(See more photos from a recent Falcons practice on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/FentonHighRidgePatch)
Armstrong, a senior, said that game resulted in fellow teammates putting in work throughout the offseason, lifting weights at 6 a.m. and running on the weekends.
Armstrong, who plays defense, is joined by 10 other seniors, many of which have played together since middle school.
As offensive lineman Matt Kaysinger said, “This is it. We’ve played all this time together and now it’s finally here.”
Head coach Mike Bellers said he’s been looking forward to this year since the seniors were sophomores starting on varsity.
“We have seven kids on both sides of the ball that have played a bunch,” he said. “I don’t make predictions, but I think the team is going to be very, very competitive. They want to culminate with a great season.”
With veterans on both offense and defense, Bellers said the quarterback position is one of the only uncertainties.
The team lost quarterback Tyler Karst to graduation. In his senior campaign, Karst completed 140 of 256 attempts for 18 touchdowns last season.
Three players are still in the mix at quarterback: senior James Crockett, sophomore Matt Seymour and Armstrong. Crockett has been practicing there, Armstrong has experience from middle school and Seymour may potentially be the future quarterback. Bellers said he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for, though.
“We’re going to be a good running team,” said Kaysinger, who has played every position on the offensive line for the Falcons. “We’ve got a strong runningback returning (in Ian McIntosh), a lot of our offense will be around him and we like that.”
McIntosh, a senior, rushed for 1,368 yards last year and scored 16 touchdowns.
“Everyone on the team’s excited,” Armstrong said. “It’s not just the seniors; yeah the seniors are a big part of it and we’re leading it, but everyone’s buying into it.”
The Falcons' first game is scheduled against Chaminade on Aug. 24.