The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

Football to head to Sulphur Springs for first round of playoffs

Team will ride a five game win streak into the playoffs
Junior+Beau+Iovinelli+breaks+the+Royse+City+tackles.
Grace Nguyen
Junior Beau Iovinelli breaks the Royse City tackles.

After a 0-5 start to the regular season, the football team (5-5 overall, 5-2 district) closed out the season on a 5-0 run and now finds itself as the top seed from District 15-5A in Region 2 of the Texas 5A Division 2 Playoffs.

The Leopards will square off against the Sulphur Springs Wildcats (5-5, 3-3) on Friday night at 7:30 p.m at Sulphur Springs ISD Stadium in the first round of the single elimination playoffs.

Offensive line coach Dustin Gunter said that he believes that team is excited to have the opportunity to start the playoffs in a challenging environment.

“[Sulphur Springs] has a lot of tradition,” Gunter said. “They’ve won a state championship with their current coaching staff, and they have great support from their community. We will be going into a hostile environment, but there’s nothing better than if you can go in there and come out with a ‘W.’”

Senior linebacker Bumper Pool said that the team is looking to use the hostile environment as motivation to lock in and embrace the underdog mentality.

“I think it’s going to make us play better,” Pool said. “When we play on the road, we have to lock in, and we have to get that mindset of ‘we’re the underdogs’ because we have played better when we have been the underdogs.”

Pool, who also plays offense in certain situations, said that Sulphur Springs has one particular strength that stands out on film: its defensive line.

“Their defensive line is their strength,” Pool said. “They have one of the best defensive ends we’ll play all season. If we can take care of him, we can work some different angles and do some certain plays that will make us successful.”

On the offensive side of the ball, Sulphur Springs is led by senior quarterback Ryan Humphries, who propelled the Wildcats into the playoffs by engineering a three-game win streak to cap off the season.

One of Humphries’ primary targets on offense, Simeon Taylor, said that he respects Lovejoy’s defense but also believes in his coaching staff’s game plan.

“I have seen [Lovejoy’s] defense, and they are pretty solid all around,” Taylor said. “We need to respect them, but our coaches have worked hard on our game plan this week and feel good about what we need to do going into the game Friday to execute it.”

Taylor also said that he feels the Wildcats have a key advantage on in the game with the home crowd.

“I feel that we have a big advantage with our fan base on our side Friday night,” Taylor said.

Pool said that the defense is prepared to see a Sulphur Springs offense that is similar to some of the previous ones it has played against this year.

“They’ve got a mobile quarterback and a running back that runs downhill hard, [but this is] nothing we haven’t seen this year though,” Pool said. “We’ve played some good teams, I feel like we have a good game plan, and I expect that we’re going to take care of business.”

 
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About the Contributors
Benjamin Nopper, Section Editor
 After joining staff and becoming an editor his sophomore year, Benjamin Nopper is enthusiastic to spend his senior year in the newsroom he considers to be his home away from home. Benjamin walked into room E103 two years ago feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of the unknown‒writing for an award-winning publication without much previous experience. Hundreds of articles and dozens of close relationships later, he now understands that writing enables an individual to have a meaningful impact in his community. A disciple of his former boss, Nick Smith, Nopper retains his position as sports editor for the third consecutive year while also contributing as an opinion writer. However, if it were up to him, he would run his own satire department. Outside of the newsroom, Nopper plays baseball and serves as an FCA leader. Nopper is also a member of Student Council, NHS and Spanish Club. He enjoys embarking adventures with his three dogs, spending afternoons on the golf course, and feeding his unhealthy coffee obsession. Nopper also loves to watch Impractical Jokers, the show that admittedly inspires some of his lighthearted interactions with his friends. Upon graduating, Nopper intends to study business and eventually attend law school.
Jackie Carroll, LNN Executive Producer
Easily spotted by her signature maroon Vans or paint-stained Nikes, senior Jackie Carroll is (kind of) ready to take on senior year. Although she doesn’t often wear one to school, Jackie is slowly amassing a collection of hats and lives for the opportunity to sport her favorite baseball cap. You truly don’t know Jackie well enough if she hasn’t mentioned that her favorite movies are Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and you surely won't get far in a conversation without her bringing it up. Outside of the classroom, Jackie can be seen sporting her “Swimmer Things” swim cap as captain of the swim team or wearing a whistle around her neck while working as a lifeguard. Jackie is super excited to spend friday nights in the press box or on the sidelines working the digital scoreboard at football games, or afternoons in the classroom working as Executive Producer of Leopard Spotlight during her third year on the Lovejoy News Network Staff.
Grace Nguyen, Section Editor
Fueled daily by three iced vanilla coffees, standing at 5’2”, Grace Nguyen will walk into the E103 door with no problem. Grace is entering senior year, and the only reason she is believed to have survived high school is because of the napping couch in the photography studio. During her time on staff, Grace has been to almost every football game, win or loss, and wouldn’t have changed a thing. Yes, Grace has been tackled by football players, run over by coaches, and body slammed by referees. Nonetheless, Grace will confidently walk on the field this year, bruises and all, alongside her sideline media team. Stepping outside the newsroom, which is rare, Grace enjoys playing softball, hanging out with family and friends, and finding excuses to go to every $3 Pazookie Tuesdays at BJ’s. After high school, Grace hopes to pursue a career in sports photojournalism, so watch out for her still getting run over by athletes on ESPN in the years to come. Although it’s bittersweet to leave newspaper upon graduation, Grace is thankful for all the opportunities that she’s had on staff. Through The Red Ledger, Grace created long-lasting friendships and won a lot of awards that she never imagined was possible. Grace hopes that current and future staffers will think of this national-award-winning publication the same way as she did–a second family and their home away from home.

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