HBHS football faced rival Pelham in homecoming game


Sydney Speir

The Hollis Brookline varsity football team faced Milford during the first game of their season on August 31, 2018. According to Lones ‘19, the team has matured even in the four weeks following their first game. “I think the team itself hasn’t changed that much but as for the mentality and the vibe our team brings it has changed quite a bit. I would say in a good way,” said Lones ‘19.

Sydney Speir , Staff Writer

On Saturday September 29, the Hollis Brookline High School varsity football team faced Pellham in their annual Homecoming football game, bringing students and teachers alike to “The Swamp,” the HBHS football field, to see the rivals battle.

Hollis Brookline has a tattered history with Pelham that traces back to their face off in the 2017 season. As Ava Akatyszewski ‘19, an HB varsity cheerleader for five years, explained that Pelham was disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct the last time that Hollis Brookline played them. With recent tension between the two teams, the game on Saturday was full of that same tension for both the players and the fans.

Compared to last year’s homecoming game, which left Hollis Brookline fans cheering in a 42-8 win against Hillsborough Deering-Hopkinton, Saturday’s match against Pelham proved to be more of a challenge. Last year, Pelham was the only team to beat HB in the regular season other than Windham. Despite the statistics, Michael Fox, an English teacher and avid sports fan, seemed to believe that HB would be a strong match against Pelham due to their performance in the game against Milford. “The offense is very potent and I thought our defense did well too. We played well against Milford. I think in the beginning of the season most people thought that our offense was going to be in good shape, but our defense has stepped up and done a good job,” said Fox.

Jeremiah Lones ‘19, a senior at HBHS and starting center on the varsity football team, shared similar feelings as Fox about the potential of the team this season. Despite losing numerous seniors going into the season, the team feels as though the hard work that they have put in this season will give them a leg up against teams who have previously been a challenge to beat. “I think this year, with us being stronger and the rhythm we have as a team, [Pelham] stands no chance. I’m confident because I know how hard my team works and how much effort everyone from seniors to freshman and in between have put in this year alone that we can and will beat them,” said Lones ‘19.

As game day approached, the Hollis Brookline varsity cheerleading team prepared for the game as well. Last week the cheer team was busy organizing decorations for the sidelines.

However, the balloons and streamers weren’t the only anticipated highlights for the homecoming game. Returning alum oftentimes make their appearance at the annual game, whether to take a stroll down memory lane, or to check up on the team’s improvement. Fox explained that he enjoys attending the homecoming games for all sports because, “it is a chance to catch up with former students.”

There was something peculiar about this year’s homecoming football game, however. For the first time in HBHS history, varsity sports games were the only homecoming event, as the annual homecoming dance was cancelled. Akatyszewski ‘19 seemed to think that this would have a positive effect on the number of fans that would show up on Saturday. Although it is hard to say whether it was caused by the cancelled dance, the bleachers were filled during the first half of the game, as Akatyszewski ‘19 predicted.

Hollis Brookline Varsity football is fighting for a title this season, and facing Pelham was just one more step in the process. Unfortunately, the team lost 43-14, thus hurting their quest for a championship.