Multiple Teams · Despite Adversity, Team Remains Focused and Optimistic

When will they win a game? Why is the football team losing? Spectators on both sides of the scoreboard, ask those questions and many more at Saint Augustine football games. First, it was the 26-20 fall to one of St. Augustine’s newest rivals, McDonogh 35. Then, Scotlandville Magnet High School sting of 42-12 was so devastating, disgruntled fans began trickling out of Tad Gormley Stadium at the top of the third quarter. “I can’t believe our school is blowing out St. Aug.,” said a Scotlandville fan, at the Sept. 12 game.

The football team is not in denial. They know they are struggling, and blame themselves. As quarterback, 17-year-old, Justice McCoy, junior, possibly deals with the most pressure on the team. His mindset going into each game is to stay motivated and candid. “It’s another day, another game, we must win,” McCoy said.

The 0-2 start of the season has caused a gumbo of emotions and anxious fans. Whenever there is a missed opportunity, a mistake, or anything that costs the Purple Knights points,  irritated spectators shake their heads, text friends, or scroll through social media sites on their phones to distract them from the game. Visitors analyze and criticize the team’s maturity, and question their experience. “We don’t need to stay to see this,” said a Scotlandville fan, who left the game Sept. 12, during the third quarter.  

Without a doubt, the Purple Knights, who practice nearly three hours daily are working hard to show doubters and dedicated fans they can control their opponents and ultimately win. McCoy has a message for everyone who is growing concerned. “Don’t lose hope, just keep faith in us,” he said.

Linebacker Vaughn Vicks, 17, senior, believes doubters disregard something crucial every player wears, and delivers from practice to the very last second of every game. “They don’t see the work and effort,” Vaughn said. “They just want results.”

This week, the team faces off against Landry-Walker High School. The Charging Buccaneers are 1 and 1.