The district championship game on Nov. 9 ended the Bruins’ season after a close but disappointing (27-29) loss to Blue Springs High School. After a difficult start, RBHS began to gain momentum toward the end of the game and made some major plays, including senior Nate Peat’s 70-yard touchdown.
“The game is what it is,” Head coach Van Vanatta said. “If we had a couple more minutes I think things could’ve been different. A couple plays, things could’ve been different. As a coach, I asked those guys to give everything they had and be all in and I believe they did that, so as a coach I couldn’t be more proud of [them].”
Unfortunately, this game also marks the end of the seniors’ high school football careers. Players such as wide receivers Peat and Diego Alvarez hate to see the adventure come to a close after having spent so much time with the team.
The team’s record of [9-3] is nothing to be ashamed of, especially since it carried the team this far. More importantly than the victories, however, is the time the team spent together.
“Standing there on the field thinking this could be your last game ever was just a tear jerker,” Alvarez said. “The football team was my second family. When you spend over 12 weeks straight with people you really form a bond with them. The one important thing I’m walking away with is the bond of brotherhood we all formed.”
After having the opportunity to coach them, Vanatta expressed a shared sentiment with his players, saying he’ll miss the time he got to spend with them. Participating in activities with them off the football field for the sake of spending time together, he said were the memories he’d hold on to.
“One of the coolest things this year was getting to be around those guys,” Vanatta said. “We played paintball this summer as a team, that was a pretty awesome experience. You know, barbecuing, having a picnic, hanging out all day long, watching those guys just be kids and having fun, that’ll probably be something that’ll stand out. The entire season, I’ve enjoyed being around these guys. They’re just a great group and I hate to see the seniors move on but you know, that’s just kind of part of it. I’m always here for them if they need anything.”
Alvarez, looking back on his experience with the football team, wanted to remind younger players to cherish their own. He said they shouldn’t forget to play every play their hardest, as they’re always only one play away from it all ending. Peat wanted to remind his teammates to make their impact on the school as well as on the football team.
“The people on the team are my brothers and I’d do anything for them,” Peat said. “I think these past four years have been very special to me.”
What did you think of the game? Let us know in the comments below.