Last week, the freshmen Jesuit Rangers went to battle once again on the grueling grid iron, delivering mixed results. The Gold team triumphed over Prestonwood Christian Academy, while the Blue team stumbled in a loss to W.T. White.
“We took it to them right from the get go,” said Freshmen Head Football Coach Bob Wunderlick when speaking about the Gold team’s performance. Jesuit Gold wasted no time, scoring early through the air to put the Rangers on top. Once they held the lead, they never looked back; the high-flying Rangers continued to put up points with touchdown passes to Mark Ready, John Wunderlick, John Guzman, and a few others from quarterback Jacob Palisch. Palisch, sporting the number 85, usually plays wide receiver for the Gold, but was forced to step up when starting QB Mitch Prendergast sustained a concussion and was announced out for the season. But the Gold team not only dazzled the crowds with their offense, they also held firm on defense, only allowing five first downs on their way to a 44 – 0 win against the Lions of Prestonwood.
As for the Blue team, they were not so fortunate in their match up with the Longhorns. The Rangers’ offense got off to a slow start and remained slow for the remainder of the game. “[We] just were not clicking on offense,” mentioned Coach Wunderlick. After a quick three and out from the Blue team, W. T. White took over and marched down the field from their own 30 yard line for a touchdown and a two point conversion. Jesuit and White would both score again before the half to end the second quarter with a score of 16 – 7. When the game started up again, it would be a defensive battle with neither team relenting, ending the game with the same score that ended the first half, 16 – 7. The bright spot for the Blue team would be its outstanding defense that did its best to hold back the Longhorns, waiting for a Jesuit offensive surge that never came. Defensive end for the Rangers, Louis Hartmann, cited the fact that the team entered the game “expecting to win, but when we got on the field, our heads were not in the game” as the reason for the loss.
It should be mentioned that the Blue team was playing the W.T. White’s equivalent to Jesuit’s Gold team, with W.T. White not having enough players to form two teams. That being said, Coach Wunderlick still believes that “we are better than that” and holds the notion that “if we played them again, our team would play better” and win.
Such a loss for the Blue team may be frustrating, but not fruitless. Hartmann commented that much can be learned from the loss, from him recognizing that he needs to do a better job of “containing [the outside] more” to the team, understanding the need “to fire off the ball.”
Despite the painful loss, the future looks bright for the team that has been called “the best Blue team [Jesuit] has ever had” by Coach Wunderlick. The Blue team has three games left, which leaves plenty of time to finish the season strong (hopefully with a 7 – 2 record).
But as always, it all comes back to the Jesuit ideals that the school, along with its athletic programs, is based on. For Coach Wunderlick, it is about doing things the Jesuit way and that means “winning with class, losing with class, and trying to get more than football out of the experience.” And if you look at it that way, both teams certainly came out victorious.
Good luck to both teams for the rest of the season. Go Rangers!