By: Alfonse Dello Russo and Nevin Shatzer
Despite an early season loss to Atholton, Glenelg’s varsity football team has been on a tear lately, winning five of its six games and beating opponents in dominant fashion. Although their season has been filled with wins so far, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing, which actually has helped keep the team focused on a playoff run.
Reflecting on the loss to Atholton, special teams coach Joseph Derwent said: “[The team] had to take a step back and focus on paying more attention to details, because it's the little things that win games.”
Those details, according to Derwent, include focusing their attention during practice on the repetition of plays so game-time player decisions replicate practice scenarios. “Repetition builds muscle memory and allows Glenelg to be lethal on every down, and both sides of the field,” Derwent said.
Since the loss, Glenelg has rebounded in a remarkable manner, winning their next two games by at least a 40-point margin. This success came without a surprise to junior running back Ethan Sotka.
“The team has been grinding during summer workouts and it’s evident that we are capable of winning a state championship this year,” Sotka said. He noted that the work during the off-season really showed on day one since everyone was already in shape and ready to play.
Arguably, Glenelg’s best win to date came against Oakland Mills, which was undefeated at the time. Max Dail, defensive tackle, said the team’s defense has been the key.
“Our run defense has been off the charts,” Dail said. “We completely shut down Oakland Mills which has the best running game in the county.” He went on to say that having good defense allowed the offense to start their possessions in advantageous positions, leading them to easier scores and touchdowns.
Glenelg capitalized on a strong defensive effort during the Homecoming game, handing River Hill a decisive 21-7 loss.
The team looks to continue its defensive dominance against Marriotts Ridge on Friday, Oct. 22 as it solidifies its playoff position.