Varsity Football Trains to Prepare for the Season


Diamonique Naert-Jimenez, Writer

The football season is right around the corner, so grab your friends and bring out your face paint. Varsity has been preparing all summer, and their first official game is Friday, Sept. 3. Kickoff against rival Olathe Northwest begins at 7 p.m. Friday at CBAC. 


Football players have been training in the heat with temperatures as high as 93 degrees every day after school. They have been gearing up for this season to start, and varsity coach T.J. O’Neill has been making sure they are putting the work in, despite the high temperatures. 


“They have been adjusting well,” O’Neill said. “Our guys lifted and practiced all summer. It has been hot, but it has been hot for everyone. This heat really gets us acclimated for those first couple of weeks.” 


 The players are not the only ones working hard in the heat. Coaches have been by their side every step of the way. 


“Our coaching staff is great,” O’Neill said. “The reason we have them on staff is because they care about our players and their well-being. They are very energetic and we [coaches] all have a good relationship with our players. I couldn’t ask for better staff.”


There are no coaches without the players and there are no players without the coaches. Establishing a positive athlete-coach relationship is critical to achieving effective communication according to O’Neill.


“The coaches are pretty chill,” varsity quarterback Mason McGavran said. “They are not like your typical coach. They still coach you and yell at you, but they’ll teach you the right way.  And it just makes practice a little more fun.” 


Both coaches and players have high expectations for this season and how they believe their performance is going to be on the field. Varsity quarterback Mason McGavran is ready to get out and play with his teammates. 


 “We work really well as a team,” McGavran said. “There are a lot of good things coming this season. We have a lot of good talent on both sides of the ball.”

“This year we have a really good senior class in terms of leadership,” O’Neill said. “They are very focused and they keep each other focused. We’re hoping for a great season and the guys are working hard to do that.”


 As the team prepares for the season, so are the fans. Last football season there were restrictions on who could attend football games because of COVID-19. Only parents of the players were allowed to those games, and no students were allowed to be there in the stands as fans. This year, things have changed in terms of COVID-19 rules. 


“Obviously, the school district follows the CDC guidance and communicates with our county on COVID concerns,” O’Neill said. “But as of right now, there are no mask requirements outside and there are no limitations on attendance.” 


Make sure to check out to find the schedule for football games this season.