TC FOOTBALL ON THE RISE
BY PAUL MARTIN
All T.C. could do was watch Mount Vernon kick the field goal. The Mount Vernon Majors, a team T.C. has not lost to since 2008, kicked the late field goal with 1:34 on the clock to take a 37-35 lead over the Titans. “I was confident,” said junior quarterback Diondre Charlton, when leading the team back onto the field for the final drive. “I knew my great offensive line would have my back, I stayed focused on the objective of driving the ball rather than what the outcome would be.” Senior Tyrese Randall said, “I knew we were going to win,” when thinking about the minute drill the Titans offense needed to execute. The Titans offense drove down the field and capped off the game winning drive with a 13 yard screen pass connection from Charlton to senior running back Jaren Hillian to give T.C. a 42-37 lead, which it would hold onto to win the game.
Currently, T.C. sits in third place in the Patriot District with a 4-4 record, which is an improvement over two consecutive 2-8 seasons, and the team looks to make the playoffs for the first time since 2013. “We are making every practice harder,” says senior Ebenezer Belayneh. “Work hard to win.” Randall says, “The more we think about it, the hungrier we get knowing we might make it to the playoffs.” The Titans know that the playoff spot will not just fall into their laps. “We are working 3 times harder than ever before,” says Charlton. “We are fighting together more and we want this playoff spot.”
After two 2-8 seasons under two different Head Coaches, James Longerbeam was named the new Head Coach. The players know what they have in their new Head Coach. “I knew that when Longerbeam came to T.C., the team was going to be better,” said senior Ben Patterson. “He has had a lot of experience.” “He makes us work harder,” said Charlton. “When Coach Longerbeam came here he taught us to keep fighting and never give up.” The players also know that they can go to their Head Coach outside of football. “It’s great to have a good coach who’s also a good person. You can go to him for more than football,” said junior Ahmed Abdalla. And in the words of Randall, “He’s the best coach I’ve ever had.”
The Titans would not let previous seasons bust their hopeful expectations for their current season, due to the incredibly dedicated group of seniors. “We wanted to come out stronger, and so far we have,” said Patterson. “Going into this season we wanted to be better than we were last year,” states Randall, “and we’ve already won 3 games which is a big improvement for us.” For the juniors, the expectations were just as big. “My expectations were pretty high going into the season,” said junior Tyler Breeding. “The seniors we had coming back are very important and they all play a big role in the team’s success.” “I was set on getting the team to the playoffs” said Charlton. “I feel like we had the pieces to do that before the season.”