Seniors Isaac Crome, Dalton Queener, Jesse Bowman, and Tanner Berrey with the elementary on their PBIS rewards day.
Seniors Isaac Crome, Dalton Queener, Jesse Bowman, and Tanner Berrey with the elementary on their PBIS rewards day.
Wendy Walker

Culture Starts Here.

This 2023-2024 school year, head football coach, Steve Williams, has made it clear he’s ready for a change here in Fredericktown football, along with the team. This being Williams’s first year coaching here, he has already made drastic changes to the Blackcat football program. His first move was establishing team houses. These houses have 11 players in each one, with a leader for each house, elected by the players. Each house also has a motto created by the leaders. Respect, Attention, Effort is Mason Proffer’s (10) motto for his team house, RAE.

“It’s fun, and it’s a lot more implemented than what we’re used to. We compete in challenges for points, and we play games like ninja as well. I think it’s another way to keep us competitive and a fun way to keep us engaged,” Proffer says.

They have done different things with the houses since before the season even started in the summer. Williams has also established the “Feed the Cats” program in which the players show up every Thursday morning before school to practice and have a breakfast meal to prepare them for every Friday night game.

Our school community has noticed the football team spectating other sports as well. So far, they have gone to support girls’ volleyball, tennis, and softball. Coach Williams says, “Our players want a big crowd, so we figure other teams do, too. It’s only fair we go support; we try to go to everything. ” By doing this, the boys have made a really positive image towards themselves from peers, staff, and parents. They have given this little school a lot of pride.

“We are together as a whole, and we want to be a part of that culture and support our school”, says Williams. Assistant coach Micah Reutzel has also put a spin on Blackcat culture by campaigning the team on Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok this year, which have all received positive feedback and have given the boys’ fans a “behind the scenes” look at the program.

The boys play huge roles as well to represent the school/program. They have participated in many activities since before the season even started. The boys participated in the cancer benefit this year in pre-season by donating supplies needed for the benefit, and they will wear pink at some of their games to support all cancer survivors as well as recognize cancer awareness. They also took a trip to Fredericktown Elementary and visited with the young Blackcats on their PBIS rewards day, at which they spent 3+ hours at the school drawing on sidewalks with chalk and had an open discussion about how respect and character are important.

The boys had their first win of the season playing off against the Desoto Dragons on September 29, 2023: the score was 27-25. On October 8, the boys had a float for each house in the school’s homecoming parade. This was big for them considering the parade hadn’t taken place in almost a decade. The homecoming game took place on Friday night, the 13th of October, during which the boys faced Borgia. They lost this game but still managed to make homecoming awesome this year.

The boy’s football roster holds fifty-six players. With numbers not being that high in several years, we can tell there is some cultural difference. Williams wanted as many players as possible to grow, and he wants to develop his players. He finds it helpful to have a lot of them during practice, and wants all fifty-six players to “be here, learn, and do their best.”  With that, we find that to be a Blackcat is to be a part of something bigger.

This little school has always had that Blackcat spirit for our football team. Assistant middle school football coach Patrick Kline says, “When coach Henson was coaching, we had high expectations every year to be successful, whether it was to win districts or to go to every game with a winning mentality. Over the last ten years, it seems we’ve lost some true grit as a program. I believe Coach Will has a process to get Fredericktown football back to where it belongs—winning football games, lots of them.”

Fredericktown football continues to create history every day of the season. The coaches and players have a bond this year that shows they are truly a team. Many students, families, and town citizens continue to go to every football game. The integrity and history of this team will never be unnoticed!

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About the Contributor
Maddy Saffell
Maddy Saffell, Writer
Maddy is a sophomore this year, although this is her first year participating in publications. Maddy is a year-round athlete, playing volleyball, basketball, and soccer. She also participates in clubs such as student council and FFA. When she isn't busy with these events, she is working her job or spending time with her boyfriend. She has a lot on her plate but will always put others before herself. Although Maddy isn't completely set on what career she wants to take on, or what she wants to major in, she is positive she wants to enroll in community college at MAC and hopefully play soccer for them.