By Tana Siboonruang
At the start of the 2013 season, some big changes were made to the Varsity Football team’s roster. Twenty-four players had graduated the previous year, leaving the team to a group of juniors and seniors with less experienced.
Coach Jerome Brown said, “We were very young, very inexperienced, and it showed on the field a lot.”
Despite starting off poorly and losing their first four games, there were some exciting moments this season for the Engineers. In the Dewitt-Clinton game, Terrance Battle ’15 blocked a punt and the ball was picked up and scored by Brian Gill ’15.
The team finally turned it around in their fifth game, when they defeated Thomas Jefferson Campus, winning with a score of 14-0.
Dezzie Ligon ’14 said, “I felt like we were just tired of losing. That fifth game was when I really broke out as a defense player and lead the defensive line, had good stats, which I think helped to our win. A lot of us just played really, really well.”
Ligon ’14 helped the team with eight tackles, one sack, and one fumble recovery. Other big contributions were made by Chawit Bunditwong ’14, who made twelve tackles, with one that led to the other team losing yards, and one interception, and by Lawrence Menyah ’14, who had one 20-yard touchdown.
The team went on to win another game against John Adams High School with a score of 30-14. Their seventh game against Port Richmond was a close one. Tech led in the fourth quarter 14-8, but Port Richmond had the only touchdown of the quarter, tying the game at 14-14. Port Richmond captured the win when they scored on the two-point conversion after the touchdown with only a few seconds left, allowing them to win the game 16-14.
Tech would end the season with two losses to Boys and Girls High School and Erasmus Hall Campus, one of the top teams of the city. After a season of trying to fill the gaping hole that was left by twenty-four seniors, Tech’s overall record was 2-7, failing to make the playoffs for the first time in many years.
Coach Brown commented, “I think that we played very hard, being inexperienced, it was challenging”
Reflecting on his final season playing football at Tech, Ligon ’14 said, “Tech football molded me into the man I am today. It gave me brothers, brothers my age and older who I never had, gave me a larger family and disciplined me in the ways of life. It brings out who you are truly meant to be. As Coach Brown would always say, ‘it’s a tough freaking sport, for tough freaking people.’”
After this season, the future of Tech football is looking bright with juniors who gained experience this year and are looking to transcend expectations next year. Coach Brown is looking forward to next year’s season, noting that “ we have a decent team for next year. We have guys that now have experience; so next year looks like we’re going to be back on track.”