‘All Gas, No Brakes’: 2020 quarterfinals loss sparks determination for Bellevue West football

Claire Wood, Social Media Manager

The football team’s loss last year during the quarterfinals against Kearney sparked a new sense of motivation for this year and the coming games.  With a current record of 4-1, the team continues to push through the year and bounce back from the loss to Millard South to beat Kearney 49-13 on Sept. 24.

“I think we were looking past our opponents and trying to look into the future,” senior Arden Jenkins said. “So we just kind of let it slip past our fingers and we were giving low effort.”

Losing in the quarterfinals last year allowed the team and the coaches to make some changes. The team started getting together during July for team camps. Since then they have had practices Monday through Thursday and get together once a week to watch film and critique past games.

“Instead of going for long endurance, we are going for speed so we’ve had a lot of guys get faster during the offseason,” Jenkins said.

Senior Hunter Brown said the team has gotten closer throughout the pre-season. They all worked together and constantly kept each other on their feet. The perspective at practice has changed when thinking on upcoming games and how each period they can try harder.  

“Our mantra is 41-40 because that’s the score of a good game, but one that obviously didn’t end the way we wanted,” Brown said. 

The mottos continued at the East vs West game on Sept. 3, where this year’s rivalry t-shirt featured the phrase “All Gas, No Brakes” on the back. The players were able to see the support of all the people at the game. With the limited number of students allowed at the football games last year due to COVID-19 protocols, it was harder for the football team to receive in-person support. 

“Students section is always fun, cheering and chanting, all that stuff, because last year was so limited, people really couldn’t get in,” Brown said “It’s a fun time seeing everybody,”

Even with the loss against Millard South, coach Michael Huffman said he doesn’t feel like the team was pushed off balance. He said he believes the team can and will come back stronger and faster. They continuously look over film and critique mistakes or things they believe they can work on as a team. 

“Most of football work is literally done off the field,” Huffman said.

With welcoming back the student section this year, the team has been able to feed off the energy from the stands. This new boost of energy will hopefully give them the fuel to head to state this year. I’m looking forward to hopefully celebrating down at Lincoln,” Jenkins said.