Football team begins season with undefeated record

Zach Gitlin, Contributing Writer

On the morning of Aug. 18, the football team reported back to campus for the first time.  As the players walked in, the stakes were high.  After compiling just two wins over the past two seasons, the team knew that this season could make or break their year.

Once the Vikings began their summer training, it became evident that this could be the year the program turned their performance around.

“We definitely have a chance to prove a lot of people wrong,” said junior Chan Woo Lee. “Many people around us always say things like how bad our football team is, or that there shouldn’t even be a football team anymore.”

The team trained hard throughout the summer, and the boys are now determined to shut down any naysayers.  As the summer came to a close, the Vikings were ready to show up the Hudson River League.  The team opened the season in Yonkers with an impressive victory over the Roosevelt Sharks.  A week later, the team proved that Port was a new and improved team with a 34-6 victory over Palisade Prep.  Eager to prove themselves, the Vikings were then able to defeat Yonkers and jump out to a 3-0 overall start.

On Sept. 23, Port faced their biggest challenge yet as they hosted the Gorton High team, which had remained undefeated for three years. The players were undaunted and remained confident as the game approached.

“We are about to face our biggest challenge against Gorton, which is undefeated for three years now, with a record of 29-0,” said Lee before the big game. “We are about to change that.”

The Vikings fulfilled the promise; Port Washington won what may have been the team’s biggest win ever in a 36-30 victory.  After trailing 29-30 with around eight minutes left, Port was able to swing the momentum and capture the victory.

One of the most important reasons for the Vikings’ early success has been team chemistry.

“Since the beginning of the summer we have all gotten closer off the field, which has served as a catalyst for the improvement of our chemistry on the field,” said junior Brent Katz.

In addition, the Vikings have continued to improve individually as many players worked hard over the off-season, and their dedication has shown on the field so far.

“I have seen many players come back onto the field better and stronger, as some of us even went to the off season workouts set up by the coaches over the summer break,” said Lee.

With the help of captain and quarterback junior Elliot Avidane, the team continues to look sharp, proving to the town and the other teams in the Hudson River League that Port is ready to play and is a confident and determined team.

“As a first year varsity player, the attitude this year is very different due to the fact that we are playing for a playoff berth and a championship,” said Katz.

The Vikings’ mindset has definitely changed, as they are looking to bring the championship back to Port.

With Port’s now 4-0 start, the chances of winning the league are increasingly likely. The Vikings hope to make it to the playoffs and the championship game, if all continues to go well.  Until then, the football players will keep honing their technique and bonding with their fellow team members in anticipation of their future games.