That’s the mentality the East program has come to embrace over the past few weeks. As the season progresses, Coach Bill Renner and the Wildcats have formed a resilient and hardworking football team.
This November, the Wildcats enter the playoffs with a record of 1-7. And as far as in-game action goes, it can’t be beat. Junior Drew Davis accumulated over 1600 passing yards and 17 touchdown passes before being sidelined for a shoulder injury during homecoming. Sophomore Jackson Boyer replaced Davis at the quarterback position and may start for the rest of the season. Davis’ injury could be season-ending.
Jackson played respectably on Friday, Oct. 22 in the Wildcat’s senior night versus Southern Durham. Valiant efforts by East in the first half seemed to be paying off when a touchdown by senior Jordan Barkley clinched them the lead, 26-21. The Southern Durham Spartans rallied in the second half to beat the Wildcats 48-26.
The top three receivers-Alex Moore, Tyler Klimko, and Quadry Ridley-have a combined 14 touchdowns and 1259 receiving yards so far.
The defensive line has also had a great season so far, and according to junior nose tackle Robin Palmer, it has seen improvements as the season progresses.
“We’re more experienced and we’ve had more training,” Palmer said. “So in games we work better as a team.”
The best game for the defensive line so far, according to Palmer, has been the game against Chapel Hill on Sept 16.
“We played all of our positions right and really pressured the quarterback a lot,” Palmer said.
As the team progresses through the season, junior Daniel Liu feels the atmosphere of the team is continually more welcoming and enjoyable.
“We’ve really developed as a team,” Liu said. “We feel like we’re really close.”
The JV team has had a strong season of their own, with a record of 2-5. Its success will likely provide a strong foundation for next season’s varsity roster.
“Since a lot of our teammates are underclassmen, it provides a good building block for next year,” Liu said.
Now that the team is well into the season, Coach Renner said it’s time to focus on the bigger picture.
“There are two things we’re aiming for: play better and get better,” Renner said. “Even if we were the best, it would [still] be the same.”
With the playoffs starting in November, the Wildcats plan on stepping up their game from start to finish.