Editorial: The Power of 11
October 18, 2017
In my three seasons covering the Whitehall/Harrison High School football team there have been plenty of wins by the Trojans, perhaps none bigger than a heart stopping 19-14 win Friday night over Manhattan.
In a game with the conference title on the line, Whitehall stood its ground against a tremendous opponent and made big plays when they needed them to finish the regular season 9-0. While the team has a lot more work to do, it's important to look back on just how special the regular season was.
While a lot goes into winning a conference championship and finishing a regular season undefeated, there may be a simple explanation to the success of the 2017 Trojans team --- 11. Each and every time they take the field, they do so as 11. This is not a group of selfish individuals; this is a team that comes together in unison the moment the ball is kicked off. Everyone has a role, they understand their role, and the results are often times astonishing.
Whenever I have interviewed a player after the game, they do not use the word "I"; instead they shift the focus to "We". It's not about how many touchdowns, sacks, or yards a player has, they rather talk about the team as a whole. They are talking about 11. This is special, and something you rarely see. I've covered hundreds of high school football games, and have never talked to kids who much rather talk about the success of their team, rather than their own personal accolades. I didn't mention a single player in this editorial and that was for a reason -- this is all about the team. They are all about being the type of young men who are playing for their teammates and community, not for the number on their jersey.
The Whitehall community is proud of all the success and what makes it even sweeter is the number 11.
The playoffs will start in Whitehall on Saturday and this team has unfinished business. Know matter what happens the rest of the season, I know that 11 will take the field each and every snap.
To the "11", thank you for all you've done and I can't wait to see you continue this amazing season.
Much like I said last week, it will be imperative to have a large crowd Saturday for the playoff game. It was pretty special to see 11 turn into 12 with a large Trojans crowd cheering showing their vocal support Friday night --- let's see it again October 28.