The varsity football team faced Steele in the first round of the playoffs last Friday at Lehnhoff Stadium. The team hung in the game for a while until Steele overwhelmed them en route to a 62-13 Steele win.
The mission had been accomplished, back to back playoff appearances for the MacArthur football program. The two playoff berths over these two seasons matches the total of the prior 13 seasons, from 2001 to 2013. The team made the season thrilling for all of the fans as they went 6-5 overall and never failed to provide the spectators with extraordinary effort and thrilling performances.
This year’s team had quality players on both sides of the ball. Their defense was hampered after losing their starting two cornerbacks after merely two games, nevertheless they persevered and made the best out of what appeared to be a major blow to their secondary.
Their offense was potent and overpowering at times as they averaged 40.6 points per game, the most per game in the last 15 years at Mac. The next highest was 33.5 ppg by the 2010 team.
The class of 2016 had impact players that were involved in both the 2014 and 2015 playoff seasons. Every year the program loses seniors and leaders, and this year will be no different as the Brahmas will lose 14 of their 22 starters from offense and defense. This includes Joey Fiel, William Ellis, Deandre and Kevin Duplechain, Anthony Vera and Chris Uptmore on defense. While on offense they will lose Justin Sprofera, Mason Jones, Jacob Atkinson, Bobby Lepovitz, Jeremiah Cura, Nate Vega, Jose Germain, and Daijon Williams.
The MVP of the 2015 season in my opinion was running back Daijon Williams. Williams is one of the few runners who embraces contact, while also having the speed to outrun most defensive backs. Just to put into perspective how good he has been, since 1999 there have been two other MacArthur running backs that have averaged over 120 rushing yards per game, Jonathan Craig averaged 127 per game in 2006, and Darik Dillard averaged 137 per game in 2010. Being the third to do that is remarkable, but even more impressive is that Daijon Williams trumped both of them with his 146 yards per game.
Quarterback Tyler Vitt placed himself among the elite in the city with his breakout sophomore season and his play next year should be the engine to their success.
Leadership was evident from the coaches and similarly from the captains. Linebacker Joey Fiel was one of the vocal leaders on the defense and provided energy to that side of the ball with every tackle that he made.
All in all, the football team had an exciting year, they competed every game and improved steadily regardless of the outcome. They kicked off the school year on a high note, entertaining the students and faculty every game day with their play. The 2014 and 2015 teams will not be forgotten any time soon, as their recent achievements have set the stage in football for years to come at MacArthur High School.