The Salt River High School Eagles football team played its last home game, and the last game overall for the season, on October 15, winning 34-12 against Cibecue Community School.
The Eagles experienced ups and downs, starting off the season with 29 students and ending with 15 left on the team.
“I was very proud of the remaining team members for sticking with it, even though they were not having a great year with wins and losses. They still came to all the practices and kept up their good grades,” said Coach Troy Head.
The coach was very pleased with the team’s performance in the final game. The team had not logged a victory all season, and the players really wanted to win the game against Cibecue so they could end the season on a hopeful note. And they did. They ended the season on a good note and never gave up.
Wide receiver Ramo Wood, No. 7, had a great game running the ball. Wood ran 280 yards and scored four touchdowns. “He did a great job at offense,” said Head, “and Harold Yazzie also did a great job at quarterback, throwing the ball and running it.” No. 10 Btaka Brown scored a touchdown during the game.
“It felt good to win. It was a relief. I wanted the Eagles to experience what it felt like to win a game, and it was the last game—and I think if you could pick any game to win, it would be the last game,” said Head.
“We didn’t turn the ball over as many times like we have done in the past, and that helped,” Head continued. “In previous games, if things were not looking good for the team, we would start running out of gas in the second half. But [as the season progressed] the kids started to not give up and kept up their good attitude. Defensively we did better by everyone just doing their assignments and their jobs of pass coverage and stopping the running game.”
The coach felt that the younger players grew and learned a lot this year, even though they didn’t win a lot of games. Most of the team was very inexperienced, improving as the year went along.
“I feel by next year the team will be a lot better,” said Head. “This year the team had to play the whole year against much older kids, and that was the whole reason why the Eagles were not winning any of the games. When you have 14-year-olds playing against 17- and 18-year-olds, it’s not really a fair fight. But the kids still showed up to every game and played their best.”