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The Student News Site of Plainfield East High School

East Side News

SPORTS: Football program changes are pushing towards success

Luna Kenneally
Plainfield East in a huddle while competing against Waubonsie Valley on Sep. 1, 2023 for Senior Night.

As September approached, Plainfield East Varsity Football kicked off the 2023 season with a roster of dedicated players and a new head coach. Despite a discouraging start, PEHS football won their first game during homecoming week.

The new head varsity coach is Harvey Jackson, and he comes to Plainfield East with the goal of starting a movement:

“Coming from a winning culture, and being able to bring that mentality over. Helping kids change how they view the program, how they view themselves, and how they view the game of football. It’s going to take some time, it’s a process, but I believe that they’ll start a trend in that direction. That they’ll realize they’re good enough to compete with anyone in the state,” Jackson said.

The football team also places emphasis on effort to become better everyday.

“One of the biggest differences between some of the better schools is the program has to be geared toward football. You really have to get in and get after it, and put your coat on to be successful on the field. Throughout the season it’s just trying to get better on a day-to-day basis,” Jackson said.

Plainfield East Football players reflect this value, as demonstrated by a coach’s perspective.

“The amount of time and effort it takes to be an athlete on top of being a student, and sometimes working on the side. It keeps me coming back because the effort I get in return is tremendous,” said Billy Murphy, Head Sophomore Football Coach, and humanities teacher.

Passion for football is also a quality that is demonstrated in the players.

“It’s senior season, so it’ll be fun to have one last season, and being injured I’m excited to get back. I’m also excited about the new coaches, with new knowledge and the program. [I’m excited] to make new friendships, and just get to know more people,” said Evan Tonarelli, senior and free safety.

“I’m pretty confident. I think the coaches are going to bring new knowledge to the program, and I think new changes will be beneficial for us,” Tonarelli said.

The ultimate goal for these transformative changes is a chance at playoffs, as shared by Tonarelli.

“I hope for the playoffs, because that’s kind of just the goal for the program. I think it would be really cool if we went to the playoffs and won a game in the playoffs. I don’t know if our program has ever really done that. If these coaches came in brand-new and we won our first playoff game ever, that would be pretty cool,” Tonarelli said.

Murphy shares his faith in the program’s direction.

“Coach Jackson is very meticulous about his preparation. He’s incredibly knowledgeable about offenses, and he’s pushing our varsity athletes to a new level,” Murphy said.

“I think he [Coach Jackson]  can bring us to a point where we need to in order to succeed,” Tonarelli said.

Overall, the outlook is bright for Plainfield East Football.

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About the Contributors
Mia Graske, Editor-in-chief
Hello, my name is Mia, and I am currently a senior. This is my third year on East Side News. I love music and art. I am looking forward to new stories and new opportunities this year.
Luna Kenneally, Photographer
Hello! My name is Luna, and I’m a sophomore. I enjoy reading, writing, and photography! Aside from Newspaper Club, I’m part of GSA and Tech Crew. I’m excited to help work on the school’s newspaper, and to start a new chapter here at East!

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