At the Table with the PC Football Captains: Road to the Championship
Senior and captain Arjun Sandhu leads the football team on to Best Field for a home game. (via Carolina Salazar, senior)
The Pine Crest football team is well on its way to win a championship. After a thrilling overtime win at the Homecoming game October 14 against the Benjamin School with a score of 27-26, the team held its 5-2 record to enter the playoffs as the #4 seed.
In their first playoff game last Friday, October 21, the Panthers defended their spot with a 56-0 win against Avant Garde Academy. This week, Type One's Stefy Grau sat down with the four captains of the varsity football team, seniors Arjun Sandhu and Bryce Bloom and juniors Shane Williams and Bailey Finkelberg, to discuss the exciting football season and the team’s path to success.
Type One: What has been the team’s biggest challenge this season?
Bailey Finkelberg: Naturally as a team, we are always joking around, so buying in and taking everything seriously has been difficult.
Type One: Football can be a demanding sport both physically and mentally. How was the team able to prepare for the thrilling overtime win against Benjamin to secure Pine Crest's #4 seed in the playoffs?
Shane Williams: We stuck to our routine. Each week our opponent is different, but we must stay on track and play our type of football. No matter who the opponent is, every week is just as important and our only goal that week is to walk away with one more win to our record.
Type One: What are some of the main factors that have contributed to the team’s success this season?
Bryce Bloom: There is definitely a lot of chemistry between the players. We are all very close and understand each other as both friends and athletes, so we have the ability to work very well with one another.
Type One: If you could go back to the beginning of the season and give advice to yourself or the team, what would it be and why?
Arjun Sandhu: Always focus and execute your assignment.
Type One: Friday night football is a PC tradition. What can you say about the fans this year?
Bailey Finkelberg: Fans are awesome. I can’t remember a game where the stands weren’t filled; it makes all the difference.
Type One: What is your favorite part about being a member and captain of the football team?
Shane Williams: [My favorite part is] being with my teammates in the locker room and weight room. The times we share and relationships we build are second to none. The only thing better than spending time off the field with them is going out on the field Friday nights and doing what we know we can do as a team. Once those relationships are built, everyone plays to win for each other and Friday nights are a surreal experience.
Type One: What makes this year’s team different from previous years?
Bailey Finkelberg: I feel we are different this year because we want a championship much more than previous years as a whole and our coaching staff is the best it’s ever been.
Type One: What is the team’s mentality coming into the playoffs?
Shane Williams: The mentality for the playoffs is taking it one game at a time. If we get ahead of ourselves, we may overlook an opponent and find ourselves in a tough situation if we are falling behind in a game. The team is really focused right now and our only goal is to walk away with a win each week.
Type One: As a senior captain, what has been your favorite moment this football season?
Arjun Sandhu: Beating Benjamin in our last regular season game in overtime was something I will never forget. The team really had to come together and focus all our energies on scoring the final touchdown that would give us our #4 seed.
Type One: If you could give one message to your teammates, what would it be?
Bryce Bloom: We don’t need no water!
Type One: Ultimately, how are you looking to end the football season?
Arjun Sandhu: Just like any other dedicated team, PC football is always looking to win the championship. We’ve worked very hard this season, and all can’t wait to see how far we can go together.
Type One: What will you miss the most about high school football?
Bryce Bloom: There are two things. First, I am definitely going to miss my teammates because they are like brothers to me. Also, getting the opportunity to hit someone everyday at practice as hard as I want and having it be called a good play is something I can’t say I’ll be doing in college.
The captains' excitement and said dedication is surely a hopeful sign for the boys as they head into their second playoff game. Their next game will be this Friday, October 28 at LaSalle in Miami at 7:30 pm. Good luck to all players and coaches and GO PC!
Editor-in-Chief; "If your mother loves you, check it out," John Kupetz
Jack Rubin is a junior and has been writing for Type One for 3 years. He is currently the sports editor.