Football works to overcome unique season adversities

Under new COVID-19 guidelines and regulations, the football team manages conference changes while establishing new normalcy and traditions.

Celebrating under the lights…After winning the district championship title, Captain Aonghas Evanick holds the championship trophy in a team huddle. The moment followed the defeat of Pennridge on November 13, 31-17. Photo by Gina Smyth

Seeking a historic season, Souderton football aims to play competitively within a newly restructured conference in pursuit of a conference championship despite COVID-19 guidelines and regulations.
According to head coach Ed Gallagher, the conference restructuring impacted long standing rivalry games.
“Pennridge, North Penn, and Central Bucks, schools that we’ve been playing for years, are now in a different conference, which has been a little different,” Gallagher said. “I think we have a chance to be more competitive in the conference than we did when we were in with some of those schools that were much bigger than us.”
For captain and quarterback Evan Kutzler, a conference championship is a goal for the season.
“[An undefeated season] is the goal to get the conference championship,” Kutzler said. “We got to come in with the same focus we had these last couple weeks and not take [the games] lightly in order to win handily.”
Similarly to Kutzler, captain and lineman Aonghas Evanick expresses the team’s intent to win the conference championship, the first time it would be held by Souderton in the last 13 years.
“We will hold that title by ourselves and that will be the first time in 13 years,” Evanick said. “Then moving forward we will hopefully be playing Spring-Ford in the playoffs.”
Despite teams not participating in the season due to implications of COVID-19, it is still possible for the team to win a championship title.
“We are playing five [teams] and everyone else is playing back,” Gallagher said. “So there are enough games in there that they are going to name a champion at some point, and it’s nice to play for a championship.”
According to Evanick, he feels that the energy of the games have not largely changed either, despite the fact that guidelines have not allowed for students to attend the games.
“To some extent, it’s different. I don’t really notice it too much because I see the band and parents and stuff like that,” Evanick said. “It definitely worked out a lot better than I thought it would.”
Kutzler feels similarly, when it comes to having emptier stadiums on Friday nights under the lights.
“When I’m playing, I’m playing and I tend to block that stuff out,” Kutzler said. “It is not really a big deal and we create our own energy. I would love to have fans, but I find that I do not think it really affects us that much.”
For Evanick, also contributing to the energy and excitement around playing are video edits made by junior Jamison McDivitt.
“With everyone reposting [the edits] it does get kind of repetitive but I love it. It really puts our team out there,” Evanick said. “Jamison works really hard and it really is something special this year, especially with everything going on.”
Evanick also feels that the videos speak to the support of the team from the athletic department.
“I think Jamison puts in a lot of really hard work,” Evanick said. “At this point some of his videos were seen by millions of people and I think it really shows off everything our athletic department has put into us with our jerseys, stadium, and performance as a team.”
The team went on to win the district championship for the first time ever in school history on November 13 and advanced to the state semifinals where they lost to Saint Joe’s Preparatory High School 51-43.