Year in Review: Football

By: Zach Elders and Eric Peterson

The Hamilton Hawkeyes finished with a record of 2 wins and 7 losses this year, with no wins in the OK Green. It wasn’t the type of year that the team was hoping for, yet they always stayed positive and looked forward to what the next week, and what the next year brings with the returning and upcoming future for the Hawkeyes.

This season, Hamilton’s largest struggle was injuries. Injuries such as, Nathan Pando, Hamilton’s leading rusher who was a senior. Brady Mudd, Hamilton’s leading passer who was also a senior. As well as Alec Overbeek, one of their big targets at the receiving spot who was a junior. It was very difficult for the Hawkeyes to get a spark going and that was a big reason why, the Hawkeyes were never a fully, complete group throughout most parts of the season. It was the game against Hastings where they had a passing attack, a run game, as well as a solid defense to back that up, that was by far the best of the season for Hamilton. Senior running back Nathan Pando ran for over 200 yards with two touchdowns. Senior Quarterback Brady Mudd also had a great game with two passing touchdowns.

The tough thing to bring up is the worst loss of the year, which most of the teammates would agree that it was hardest to deal with the game at Holland Christian by 4 points, 14-10. That rivalry is the hardest to deal with, especially with such a close game. It hurt as a fan of Hamilton too.  We fought hard, as we always do, but it was not to be.

Something most people will ask is, “Who is the MVP of the year?” Senior running back Nathan Pando is most deserving of this “award.” Throughout the year, he was the most effective offensive weapon. He scored against the toughest of defenses, and put up great numbers against the less-than-stellar defenses, too. He could chase down players in the open field to save touchdowns on defense, and he could outrun most defenders in the open field on offense. Overall, he was our most effective player on a team that consisted of a lot of effective players that just had a very tough schedule and faced a lot of adversity this year.

We are losing fourteen seniors, including quarterback Brady Mudd and running back Nathan Pando.  The players coming up from the JV team are looking promising, hoping to add that final piece to the team.  They are coming up with quite a bit of height, with five players over 6 foot 2 inches.  This adds quite a bit to the offensive line.  Not only are they coming up with height, but quite a few skilled players too, hopefully they can rise to the new challenges of varsity football and bring that winning edge to this football team.

It may not have been the record that the Hawkeyes wanted, but what mattered most, was that they were a team. The definition of a team, is where a group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project. Team members who work toward a common goal and shared rewards. If you look at the 2014 Hamilton Hawkeyes Football program, you are going to say a 2-7 record, but what you will also see, is the true meaning of the word Team! “The biggest thing about this team that made them special is that they made a commitment to one another this summer to make this season great. Their work ethic, team bond, and positive attitude throughout a tough season showed that they kept this promise to each other! I can’t believe what a powerful bond they had and it was a pleasure to be around them, regardless of the outcome of each game because of the way that they attacked hard work.” Is what Coach Miller said about this years team.

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