T-bird football

Friday Night Lights are back

Jasmine Pollard, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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Shining lights, buttery popcorn, cheerleaders, and bleachers barely holding up for the overpopulated student section only means one thing: Shorewood’s Friday night lights football is back in business.

Although it’s no secret that our football program has struggled over the past few years, two new players mean the football team could be on the rise. Junior quarterback Aaron Okamura said, “They bring diversity and natural talent to the team.”

Originally from Nathan Hale, junior wide receiver Ronnie Gary has transferred to SW this year. Junior running back Hassan Kone has also made the move to be with Gary. “At first Hassan didn’t want to go but when I moved he decided to come too,” Gary said. “I wasn’t going to leave him behind.”

Gary and Kone have only played part of a season with the Thunderbirds but have already made an enormous difference. “Ronnie is the wide receiver and more of a silent leader meanwhile, Hassan is the running back, energetic, and very vocal,” Okamura said.

Kone has tried to bring a strong work ethic to the team. “The harder you practice the better the outcome,” Kone says to the team to keep them focused.

A change in school and team is going to need some adjusting on and off the field. “Shorewood is better educationally, and the people are more welcoming. The staff supports us,” Gary said.

On the field, the have experienced two different programs between SW and Nathan Hale. “Nathan Hale was based off of seniority,” Gary said. This is much different than SW, whose starters range from sophomores to seniors.

Whether it’s football, basketball, or track Gary and Kone are relentless. Over the summer Gary attended the Junior Olympics in Houston for high jump and Kone likes to keep his feet on the ground with the 100 meter sprints. Both plan to continue their sports on a college level after graduating.

With their overall athleticism and intense work ethic, Kone, Gary, and the rest of the team have a goal of a winning record and a playoff berth this season.

“I want us to at least break .500 this year,” Okamura said with a determined look on his face. Reaching his goal this year isn’t something he can do on his own but with a little help from two new transfers from Nathan Hale, the chances are looking high.


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T-bird football