Cooler temperatures, shorter days, and colorful leaves mean that fall sports are back! The dreaded start of the school year has one positive aspect; football season is in full swing. The Ridgewood High School Varsity football team has already played six games, with two more scheduled for October 14th and 21st against Montclair and Ramapo. As usual, fans were excited and ready for the games. For example, hardcore Ridgewood sports fan and high school freshman J.J. Mackzum said, “In Ridgewood, football games are a big deal. I remember when I was in middle school, I used to go to all of them. It’s really cool to see hundreds of people watching the game, whether Ridgewood wins or loses.” Fans like J.J. and others enjoy the opportunity to interact with their friends and the community during games.
One difference this year is the head coach. Coach Watson is the replacement for Coach Johnson, who is unfortunately on medical leave. The Ridgewood team has acclimated well to the change, as they have won five of their six games so far. Ridgewood shut out Hackensack in their first game. Their powerful offense also scored six touchdowns, which excited fans for the upcoming games. The Maroons went on to win the next three games, beating Clifton 20-13, narrowly defeating Northern Highlands 7-6, and taking home the win against Passaic County Tech (PCTI) 12-7. Excitement filled the air at each of these games, with throngs of Ridgewood middle and high school students in attendance to show their support, many of them wearing the designated color for that game.
Although the Maroons’ winning streak came to an end when they faced Eastside on October 1st, the team fought fearlessly, making it a close game. As the Maroons’ junior fullback Bobby Kuenzler noted, “That was the week that we realized that we were not invincible. After losing that game, we just realized that we were human…anybody can be beaten.” However, the defeat was short-lived; the next game against Wayne Hills on October 7th brought the Maroons back to their season-opening glory, with a final score of 35-7.
With this bounce back, we can hope that the Maroons will secure wins in their remaining games. Kuenzler remains optimistic about unexpected situations that may arise, saying, “We use an expression called E+R=O (Event + Response = Outcome), which means bad stuff happens all the time, but it’s just how you respond to that stuff that really determines the outcome of what happens.” These are wise words that have proven to be beneficial for the Ridgewood football team so far. Everyone is looking forward to the upcoming games, and with this positive mentality, it’s only natural that more positive results will follow. After their two final regular season games, the Marrons’ will look to make a playoff run in Group 5. With talent on both sides of the ball, the team is ready for any team that they face.
Graphic: Jenny Yang