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Behold the Green and Gold

Heidi Budd, Pilot Editor-in-Chief

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2017 varsity season improvement could be due to many factors

A disappointing three win season last year seems to be an aberration as Flyers’ Varsity Football has shown remarkable improvement this season. The team has cracked the top 10 rankings with four consecutive wins to start the season. After upsetting Suburban West Conference rival Lafayette last week, they prepare for tomorrow’s Homecoming game against Parkway South. The credit for this year’s strides seems to be a variety of factors.

NEW TEAM WORK-ETHIC
Second year head coach, Nathan Norman (PE Department), arrived from Cape Girardeau and shares his approach to organizing practices and deciding what will be most beneficial for the Flyers.
“The biggest thing for these guys is their commitment and our commitment to the weight room as a team. That’s the biggest buy-in or change is how they’ve really committed themselves to the weight room. It shows physically. The kids are bigger, they are faster and stronger, and that’s because they’ve chosen to work hard and buy in,” Norman said.
The changes Norman has brought to the team, many players say, definitely took some getting used to. But now that the 2016 season has come and gone and summer training has passed, many athletes on the team say they are ready for victory.
Rico Payton (12), a team captain for the Flyers, says that from an athlete’s standpoint, a big part of last year was getting to know Norman and his new coaching styles and practices.
“Last year we weren’t used to [Coach Norman], but we’ve worked with him from last year all the way up until this season so I think we’re definitely prepared,” Payton said.
In addition to improving their practice routines, the Flyers have also focused on reorganizing the team’s roles so that everyone falls in with their perfect fit.
“We have our new head coach, and some of the other coaches have changed roles too. We also have a new offense and defense, which has helped us,” Payton said.
More intense workouts and team organization are just a few aspects of the Flyers’ new approach to this year, however. Norman’s true aims for the team, he shares, are higher than just winning more and losing less.
“Our goal is to get better every single week. We really try not to focus on wins and losses, but rather on getting better each and every week. The way the football playoffs are set up, it doesn’t really matter what you do until week 10. Week 10 is the start of the playoffs and we just want to be healthy and our best at week 10. I preach that we get better as Lindbergh Football every single week, that’s our goal,” Norman said.

POSITIVE ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT

As the Flyers have gotten stronger physically, more organized, and re-evaluated their goals as a team, other Flyers’ captain, Theopolis Clay-Price (12), describes how these physical changes have brought around a transformation in the overall mindset of the team as well.
“The whole attitude this year is different. We want to win, or we go home. And that’s how we’re coming in every day,” Clay-Price said.
In addition to a clearer resolution to win, the Flyers have also been experiencing a greater bond amongst each other that players attribute to part of their success this year.
“The team has a good attitude overall. Everyone comes out ready to win, and we have a better brotherhood. We really play for each other,” Payton said.
Norman adds that, as head coach, a closer community within the team helps him keep the team focused and on track. He even acknowledges the effects of team camaraderie on the Flyers’ growth and successes so far this season.
“This group of seniors has been together for a long time, they’re a real close knit group of guys, and that always helps make my job easier. The seniors are hard workers and it sounds silly but they want to be good. You would think that everybody does, but that’s not the case. These guys really want to be successful. I’m really lucky that the seniors are like that, I can use them as an example for the other players,” Norman said.

SUPPORT FROM THEIR FLYER FAMILY

Just as a new team morale has helped the Flyers succeed, another big part of their success, players say, has been the support they receive from the fans in the stands. The task of coordinating student support from the sidelines primarily falls on LHS spirit organizations like Green Machine and StuCo.
This year in particular could prove promising in terms of support from the Flyer Family as this year ushered in a new era of Green Machine captains and, with this new leadership, new ideas for how to boost school spirit.
Green Machine Captain and Senior Class President, Quinn Breeding (12), has big plans for boosting attendance for Lindbergh athletics.
“We want every athlete to come to each other’s games in the hopes that they will return the favor. For instance, if we can get tennis and field hockey to come to soccer or football, then ideally they are more likely to return the favor back to them and vice versa,” Breeding said.
Breeding also shared the club’s goals for garnering more foot-traffic for Flyers’ Football specifically.
“Themes are a big part of school spirit, but we try to make sure everyone wants that theme. We’re going to try to work with StuCo and the teams to come up with the themes everyone wants. We also want to come up with new cheers for everyone to know,” Breeding said.
These plans for increasing school spirit and providing athletes with more support at their events are just what many Flyers say they want to see from Lindbergh.
“We have great fans and we really appreciate it, the whole team does. All we want is just more of what we’ve already seen,” Clay-Price said.

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