The Seraphim

Touchdown Saints!

Undefeated NDP Football Team Puts the Past in Rearview Mirror

NDP lines up to defend against their rival, Desert Mountain (Mike Harvey/Peak Image Photo)

NDP lines up to defend against their rival, Desert Mountain (Mike Harvey/Peak Image Photo)

NDP lines up to defend against their rival, Desert Mountain (Mike Harvey/Peak Image Photo)

By Jessica Egan, Staff Writer

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The lights shine down on Bemis Field as most people in the crowd hold their breath. All eyes are glued on the field. No one dares blink for fear of missing something. The clock ticks away slowly. 40 … 39 … 38 … In a blur of movements, the football is thrown, the teams rush forward, the referees whistles blow and their hands go up in the air, signaling a touchdown. Within a second, the Notre Dame Prep side erupts into a chorus of yells and screeches and whistles as the Notre Dame Saints defeat Desert Edge 27-21 in overtime.

     This was the scene at the end of NDP’s first game of the 2017 football season. As the season progresses, that first win looks like a foreshadowing of the team’s future.

    “It looks like it’s going to be a great year,” stated senior quarterback Kylan Weisser. To him and the rest of the team, playoffs seem like an attainable goal.

    “Why not, right?” Weisser adds with a laugh.

    If the team is to blaze a trail of glory, they must first shake off the events of last season. Under unfortunate circumstances, NDP was banned from the playoffs last year, disappointing not only the fans, but the players, especially the seniors. Yet that is not stopping new head coach George Prelock from looking into the future with optimism.

    “What’s done is done. The only thing we have control of is what’s in front of us … we’ve all accepted that and we’re ready to move on.”

     Coming from coaching the freshmen team, Prelock has been with this year’s seniors since the beginning. Fans are not to worry though, Prelock runs a tight ship but in the end, what he hopes to bring to the team is community.

    “I want to make sure this team is close … and essentially represents the school in a positive manner.”

   Along with new varsity coaches, NDP welcomed back alumni Nic Orlando to coach the Freshmen team, as well as to take over science classes when a fellow faculty member fell ill.   

    “Being back is weird,” said Orlando, “I knew I wanted to come back and coach, but I never thought I’d be back here teaching.”

    Standing in his classroom, reminiscing on his memories as a student in that very same classroom, he commented on the boys-turned-men of the team.

    “As they go from Freshmen to Junior Varsity to Varsity, they start maturing more and coming into their own.”

    This team has been together since freshman year, through thick and thin, wins and losses, and this is their year to shine.

    One of the season’s standout players is junior wide receiver Jake Smith, who led the team to victory game after game. In the win 54-28 victory over St. Mary’s Catholic High School on Sept. 8, Smith caught six passes for 277 yards and four touchdowns along with 26 rushing yards and 47 return yards. Being a junior on a team dominated by seniors can seem intimidating, but “they’ve taken me in since day one and treated me like a brother,” he assured. Smith has high expectations from the team and fans alike, but he has proven more than capable of filling them.

Jake Smith runs one of his many touchdowns of the night (Mike Harvey/Peak Image Photo)

    Along with leading Smith and his team on the field, Weisser sets an example worth following.

    “Being able to do what I say I’m going to do and set an example for the team is my biggest thing.”

    Weisser sets an excellent example for his team by being a star athlete while also keeping his grades up. Currently, he has an offer from Idaho University.  But he has not done this alone.

    “The teachers at NDP are really supportive and love football, too,” he said.

Following a 48-17 victory over La Salle in Pasadena, Calif., on Sept. 22, the team defeated Chapparal 28-23, on Sept. 28.

    In every movie or television show about high school, football games are a must, and NDP’s are not ones to miss. Although nothing is for certain, this year’s 5-0 record speaks for itself. The Saints are on a roll, and there is no stopping them now. 

NDP Dog Pound congratulates Jake Smith after another touchdown (Mike Harvey/Peak Image Photo)

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