• Coach happy with football family’s sense of pride, togetherness
By Sean Pearson
It wasn’t exactly the kind of football send-off Coach Josh Fraley and his Mariner team would have liked to give their graduating seniors this season, but there was little doubt about just how much heart the Homer players put into their final game of the season against Houston on Friday.
In their first game “under the lights” this season, the Mariners came up short against the Hawks in Houston, falling 6-18 in conference action.
And while there were certainly a few mistakes Fraley would have liked to get back, for the most part, he’s happy with what he saw.
“I did see some good things in Houston,” Fraley said. “I was very happy with the resolve and determination I witnessed there by all of our players.”
The loss knocked Homer out of any post-season play. Houston will now square off against the defending State Champion Soldotna Stars in the opening round of playoffs this weekend. SoHi stomped the Kenai Kardinals 58-10 on Saturday.
Junior quarterback Sheldon Hutt threw for 136 yards in the losing effort. Homer’s lone touchdown was scored by sophomore Josh Fisk, who picked up 58 yards on three passes and carried the ball for 17 yards rushing.
Senior Joey Cardoza ran for 23 yards and grabbed 32 yards on the receiving end. David Jack Woo, also a senior, pulled down three passes for 46 yards and some very impressive catches.
Defensively, Mariner Mike Swoboda was all over the field, picking up 14 total tackles. Eight of those were solo tackles, and two were quarterback sacks. Fisk and Hunter Harris had 11 tackles each, and Zach McKenna added nine tackles.
Despite the season-ending loss, Fraley said he is incredibly proud of his team — especially their sense of “togetherness.”
“I attribute our sense of family to the players and cheerleaders; especially the underclassmen,” Fraley said. “They are the ones who have sustained and taught family and friendship through not only word, but also deed, all season.”
When asked how he continues to foster this sense of family within the program, Fraley said he doesn’t really need to offer much encouragement.
“Once they see what our team has to offer, the men just want to be a part of it,” he explained.
Mariner football will lose only four seniors this season, but Fraley assured they will definitely be missed.
“I will miss our seniors the most and wish them all the best,” Fraley said. “But, I know I will always have a connection to those four men.
Fraley said he wanted mostly to say “thank you” to all of his players who “stuck it out this season and gave their all, day in and day out.”
Comments are closed