ATHENA, Ore. — While the Weston-McEwen TigerScots didn’t pull the win in the 2022 2A State Football Championships, they’re still in good spirits, looking forward to what’s next.
“We’re practicing in the end of November,” said coach Kenzie Hansell days before the state championship. Although they lost, they played to the end of their season, a fulfilling season for all.
“Through the state playoffs and everything, it’s still hard to turn in gear only because that’s the end of that chapter,” said coach Hansell.
Wednesday was gear turn-in, which can be an emotional time for anyone, especially the seniors, who are turning equipment in for the last time. These seniors, even though the championship game didn’t end in their favor, aren’t leaving with any regrets.
“I couldn’t have asked for anything more for my senior year,” said Dylan Youncs.
“I really think I couldn’t have asked for a better senior season,” said Finn Irvine.
For those who aren’t seniors, they have one goal for next year
“Definitely playoffs try to get back to Hillsborough,” said Caleb Sprenger. Hillsborough is where the championship game happened, and where the TigerScots fell to Oakland 32-46.
Even in a game that started out rocky, the Athena community came out, and stayed out to support their TigerScots.
“Even if we’re losing they’re always there cheering they don’t leave halfway through the game for not winning. They’re there to the very last second,” said Ben Hubbard.
In a game that often comes with highs and lows, it’s what happens off the field that can make all the difference.
“I understand that we didn’t necessarily win the championship but in my eyes, you know, we made it and I’m glad to call these guys my brothers,” said Youncs.
They call each other brothers, friends, and family.
And it wasn’t just players who were moved by the emotional season.
“I mean we went down the gorge three weeks in a row playing football and there’s no better way to spend your Friday nights than with 50 great kids that are willing to represent their community and go and play football,” said coach Hansell.
Even in the late fall, in the air you can see your breath in, it’s hard to feel cold in a room the TigerScots are in.
Now that football season is over, the school is already on to basketball season. The next game is at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 16 at Heppner High School, versus South Wasco County.
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