Vikings tackle the doubt

DeAjia Philmon, Sports Editor

Friday night lights illuminate the field they stand on. The lines and numbers are crisp and clear. Beads of sweat fall down the faces of the Omaha North High football players’ faces as the boisterous crowd behind them taunts the opposing team and coos Viking players.

As the players, who were Juniors last year, now Seniors, remember the usual cheers from the crowd and remarks from the players were full of joy and excitement, that night they were full of disappointment, frustration, and sadness.

On November 21 ,2016, the Omaha North High Vikings lost their first game to Bellevue West, 43 to 6. This game was also the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) game, more casually known as the State Football game.

Being their first loss, this devastated the Viking players.

Omaha North Football player, Milton Sargbah, 12, said,”I felt terrible to make it that far and lose like that…. It hurt a lot.”

Before that game, the closest that an opposing team had scored while playing the Vikings was 28 to 41 at the semifinals against the Lincoln East Spartans.

Another North player, Alex Williford, 12, described the beginning of the game as the best feeling he ever had.

“It’s unexplainable… I’m just ready to go back to it. I’m just so mentally prepared,” said Williford.

Another player, C’Jai Payne, 12, said it was a great atmosphere as well as Brice Larson-Lekics, 12.

“Not too many people make it out of Omaha to go to state, and being from Omaha North and North Omaha not too many people have done that,” Payne said.

“That was pretty cool” Lekics added.

When the playing teams get announced at State games, the team runs out on the field through the tunnel and the starters get their names called individually. When asked how he felt about getting his named called and being on the jumbotron, since he was a starter last year, Syriuz Pittman,12, said “It was like kind of like overwhelming but at the same time like we belong here.”

Jai’Dyn Hughes,12, added that he was nervous because of the “big scene”.

As halftime approached and the Bellevue East and Omaha North High dance teams took to the field to perform, the score was 14 to 0. Many players remember being told to keep their heads up and play harder. The game isn’t over yet.