Wolfpack gridders snap losing skid with win over EV

Sweet dreams are made of this.
Two years of frustration were swept away on a moonlit night when the Elgin Public-Pope John football team defeated Elkhorn Valley 40 to 32 on Friday night, August 24.
For players and parents, fans and foes, Friday night’s sights and sounds won’t soon be forgotten, nor should they be.
All too often, over the last two years, the Wolfpack played their hearts out, only to walk away being the lesser of the two teams on the scoreboard. As the losses began to pile up, they took a toll not only on the players and coaches, but on a proud fan base. Some fans chose to stay home. Elgin Field, once overflowing with fans and their vehicles, now became a place where you could pull up before the game and find a good parking space.
For those who chose to stay away Friday night, you missed out. What did you miss?
• With the game on the line, seniors Hunter Reestman and Kyle Schumacher made individual plays to seal the victory. Reestman snuffed out Elkhorn Valley’s final drive with an interception. Schumacher, on fourth down, with under two minutes to play, picked up a fumble and got just enough yards for a first down to allow EPPJ to run out the clock for the win.
• Coach Randy Eisenhauer seized the moment of victory, alone with his thoughts as his players celebrated the clock ticking down to zero. It was as if doubt had been erased with vindication, the result of a team which rededicated itself in the summer to becoming bigger, stronger and faster.
• The rush of the student body onto the field. Waiting for the players to finish the postgame huddle, the girls could hardly hold themselves back, waiting to run onto the field. When the football players rose from the huddle, the race was on. Shouts, screams of jubilation were the norm for the next few minutes as euphoria reigned at midfield.
• Moms and dads shared the moment too. More than one mom was spotted with tears in their eyes as they embraced their sons. Whether they sit in the stands or stand behind the field, they know every tackle their child makes, every pile their child is under, every hit their child takes could lead to injury. They breathe a sign of relief after every game when the players walk off the field. All those feelings are replayed every game. Parents see the toll the game takes on the players. And now, finally, the players again taste “success” on the gridiron.
For 37 years, I’ve chronicled teams’ wins and losses, championships won and lost. I’ve watched victories pile up, losses too. Streaks begun and snapped. The Wolfpack teams are my teams, win or lose. I celebrate their victories and feel the pain of their losses.
Wolfpack nation, the streak is over!
By Dennis Morgan