Throughout several years in the 1960s and early 2000s, Elkin High School dominated in football, bringing home many state championships. Most people walk around with the dream of Elkin adding another trophy to the collection. There’s many steps to take in getting to a state championship, and coaches and players work day to day prioritizing improvement.
Every day at 3:30 p.m., the football players, both varsity and junior varsity, put on their pads and pants, and head to the practice field. After about two hours of a fast-paced and diligent practice, the teams come together and the coaches explain the importance of always coming out and achieving more each day.
While they would naturally enjoy leading a state-championship team, Coaches Cory Rycroft and Scott Wood share the same perspective of improving rather than worrying about a state championship.
“Well, right now we’re playing one game right after the other, and of course everyone would love to be there, but right now we’re worried about the next game,” explained Wood.
The team has many young players as well, so they are working hard to do what the coaches expect in order to improve.
In a few years, players from the junior varsity move up to the varsity team. Older players have mixed feelings about the upcoming groups as coaches continue to focus on the same goal of working them harder.
While sophomore Boone Beaver thinks the younger players “lack willpower,” senior Matthew Altemueller has a different view. “This group is very capable and has the ability to be a strong football team. We have some fast and strong kids that work hard, and that’s all you need to win.”
As for repeating such great seasons as seen in the early 2000s when Elkin enjoyed four state championships, Rycroft remained non-committal. “There are similar qualities to the ‘02 team, but no real crazy standouts. Just tough kids that can play hard.”
With football season being halfway through and many players drilling to go to state, it all ends up coming back to working hard and improving as a unit.
Rycroft noted, “Just continue working to get better each day and we have a chance. Just like in anything we have to catch breaks, but we have to get better day in, day out with no lapses.”
Brandon Vargas, Raejay Hincher, Luis Hernandez, and David Javier are members of the Honors English I class at Elkin High School.