Raiders roll over to season’s end

Lily Wichert, Copy Editor

The Red Raiders’ football season came to an end on Friday, October 30, after a close game against the Juniata Indians when the boys traveled to Altoona at Mansion Park for the district championship.  Unfortunately, the game resulted in a close 24-21 win for Juniata. Although the season has come to a heart-breaking end for the Raiders, players will undoubtedly remember the 2020 football season. 

The team will be saying goodbye to a total of 21 seniors, who carried their team to success throughout the season, with 11 out of 12 of the team’s touchdowns being completed by the seniors of the team. Quarterback Ethan Rossman racked up many impressive stats during his final season at Bellefonte High, completing 6 out of the team’s 12 total touchdowns throughout the season. With this, Ethan also had an outstanding 68 carries, collecting a total of 365 yards throughout the season. 

As the quarterback of the team, Ethan holds an important role as a leader to his teammates. From game to game, many eyes were closely watching Ethan and his every move on the field – but this pressure did not phase him. Despite the season’s unusual circumstances, Ethan motivated his teammates to play, practice, and work hard. 

“I play hard because the guy beside me on the field is counting on me to do my job,” Ethan said. 

Regardless of the adversities that the team encountered this year, Ethan describes that the Red Raiders remained “very in control of the situation.”

The senior players have proved to work well and enjoy playing their sport, as many of them have been on the same team together since elementary school. Senior Logan Houser, who also plays quarterback, feels very appreciative of the fact that the boys were even able to play together for one last time.

“We have built relationships that will last a lifetime,” Logan said. “While [the season] didn’t go or end the way we would have liked, we were all so fortunate to get a chance to play.”

Throughout the season, Logan was an important player for the Raiders each Friday night. Logan had 26 ball carries in season, racking up over 173 total yards and scoring 2 touchdowns. 

Although the season ended sooner than they had hoped, the football team held an optimistic outlook on the game on and off the field. Head Coach Shannon Manning has coached many of these boys for many years, and recognizes the importance of character in a player. With all of the setbacks due to the pandemic and its various restrictions, Coach Manning is most proud of his team for remaining dedicated to obtaining success. 

“This was a resilient group that accepted each challenge that was given to them,” Coach Manning said. 

As Coach Manning has coached the boys throughout their time on the football team during high school, he is well aware of what makes a team most successful. To him, this means that the key to reaching success is being both adaptable and selfless. 

“This group processed both qualities and took pride in the product they put out each Friday night.”

Even in the most uncertain times, the Red Raiders have been a school-wide example of the Raider Pride that Bellefonte embraces. And even though the season did not end according to plan, the team is already on the ball setting goals for next year’s season.

During the off season, the boys will train and work towards increasing their agility, speed, strength, and competitive drive. Coach Manning likes to focus on “challenging each athlete to identify their areas of weakness and create goals based on each player.” 

The coaching staff of the Red Raiders football team is already working hard to develop strategies that will work well with the variety of players and talent that is present on the team, all to come back stronger and better than ever for next year’s season.