By Diana Lewis
For area coaches, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) East-West Classic signals the end of yet another football season. But for the players, it symbolizes the end of an exciting chapter in their lives.
While there will be an array of emotions expected throughout Saturday’s game at Riverside Military Academy’s Maginnis Field, the competitiveness is sure to take over for all players and coaches. But both parties agree that having fun is what it’s all about.
“Elijah (Pierce), who is on the other side (West team), is going to be great to play against one last time,” said Issac Teasley, Riverside Military Academy quarterback and the one slated to lead team East in the quest to pocket one last high school victory. “I (have) to make sure I get him a few times, because he’s looking forward to hitting me.”
For Johnson coach Jason Roquemore, his expectation for the game is simply for the players to have fun as well. He realizes that for some, this means throwing on their gear one last time, while for others, it’s about taking the next step in their career.
“All these guys (stand out),” Roquemore said. “They were elected because of the characteristics that they represent both on and off the field. “All of the young men that are out there working this week in preparation for the game, are all quality men.”
Coaching for team West this year is Shaun Conley, head coach for Chestatee High School. The third-year coach for the War Eagles expects the game to be competitive and is making sure his players understand that. He spoke to them earlier this week about the importance of having fun, yet staying competitive and staying sound defensively.
The challenge for Coach Conley, is having to mesh all these different styles together.
“We’re running the ball a lot compared to this year, where we (West Hall) passed it a lot, said West Hall senior David Williams, wide receiver for team West. “I’m still learning the new signals. (I) have to pick them up and go with them.”
However, these elite athletes have already proven themselves worthy of playing at the varsity level. For North Hall senior quarterback, David Seavey, this is both a blessing and a curse. Although Seavey is having to adjust his style of play to better fit the team, he enjoys the challenge.
“It’s fun to play with their skill set and just get to play with them because most times we are always going head-to-head and it’s not that often that we’re all on the field and can be friends,” said Seavey, who will line up under-center for team West.
On Saturday, you can witness these superb young athletes leave it all on the field one last time, and see them at the peak of their high school athletic careers.
“(This game) means a lot, because you never know when you’re going to play another game ever again. But it’s an honor being out here with all my boys, who I’ve been grinding with pretty much my whole life,” Williams said.
Team East was crowned champion at the 2017 FCA East-West Classic, defeating team West 10-3.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Admission is $7 at the gate.