Every year, new groups of freshmen join the high school football team. While everyone usually has their eyes on the juniors and seniors, the freshmen have been preparing themselves to step up in the next few years.

In the small town of Potosi, high school football is a pretty big attraction. With the huge crowds and loud student sections, it would be normal for new freshmen to be a bit nervous heading into the sport. Surprisingly, none of the freshmen were really nervous about playing. They were just excited to get to play another year. Joe Hass has been going to Potosi all of his life, and football is a huge part of his life, as it's something he really enjoys. “Football never really made me nervous. High school is just more intense than middle school games. The plays have changed but the upperclassmen help us out a lot to make us even better than before.” Upperclassmen have always inspired the classes under them. 

Games are important for bringing some recognition to our small town, but something that is more important is the practice time. The freshmen get to practice with the varsity, which is pretty important since they are going to be there in the future. It lets the boys see how the upperclassmen practice hard, and how far their skill level has come. Their very first practice starting their high school career was a bit tougher than they expected. Ryan Stoney is pretty proud about how the season is going so far for him. “It was pretty tough in the beginning, but it's slowly getting easier throughout the season. I can already feel myself improving from how I used to play in middle school.” They have a bright future ahead for their senior year, and they can’t wait to inspire the freshmen of the future.

It wouldn’t seem like middle school would be that different from high school, but I was mistaken. Even with COVID-19, the high school team still stuck through and ate team meals together. Team bonding helps keep the team stronger than a team that only hangs out during practice. Confidence is another thing that some of the boys felt went up since they became a part of the team. In high school, football is way more serious than a typical middle school game. The competition is also tougher due to rankings. Wearing jerseys during school makes them feel more confident during the school day. They wouldn’t want to spend their weeknights any other way.

Everyone has a reason to push themselves harder and harder every day. Family plays a huge part in football, even though they aren't on the team. The teammates' families not only help with rides and team meals, but they also motivate their kids to do their best. Some like to prove to their parents how passionate they are about the sport. It's not always immediate family for Kyler Hefty: his uncle pushes him. “My uncle helps me practice and points out the little things that I need help with.” It's always the little things that end up making the biggest impact on certain teammates. 

There are some freshmen that have older siblings that used to play football. Others, like Aiden Uppeana, have an older brother that still plays the sport. He looks up to his brother Logan because of how well he plays and his attitude on the field. “I feel like I have to live up to his name once he graduates. I'm going to work hard and show him I'm going to be better than he was.” Aiden looks forward to the next three years of playing football with the support of his family. Ryan Stoney believes he has to push himself harder to live up to his older brother, Jake Stoney, as well. “I want to beat everything he did. I can’t really do that because I’m not in the exact same position as him, but I’ll still try to be better than he was. The only thing I don't want to beat him in is the number of concussions he got.” Jake graduated in 2021 and now goes to U.W. Platteville so he still comes to Potosi’s games from time to time.

The next few years of football are going to be intense for Potosi. We are going to lose boys to graduation and gain more. The freshmen are prepared for any challenges they face ahead of them. It's safe to say that we shouldn't worry about the future of the football team. Each year, everyone on the team is going to help each other and play like the seniors never left.