CARY, N.C. (WNCN) — They are the lifeline of any high school football program. Seniors are so important to the success of a team.
If a squad has a good group of final year players, chances are, positive results will follow.
“You start to develop as a freshman, sophomore and junior,” said Green Level head football coach Ben Goudeau. “But once you get to that senior level we start counting on those guys to step into those leadership roles and we ask less of them and expect more from them.”
For the first time in school history, Green Level will benefit from having seniors. Twenty-five Gators will play their final season at Green Level after helping to start the program two years ago.
“Us being seniors now, growing from that and also going against all those older kids at a younger age really helped us,” said senior wide receiver Ashton Evans.
Green Level finished with a 1-4 record in the shortened spring season a year ago, facing established programs along the way. Gators defensive end Zekhi Mills played his freshman campaign at tradition-rich Fuquay-Varina High School.
“Yeah, there’s a big difference,” admitted Mills. “At Fuquay, they already had their culture and stuff, here we are creating our own cultures and foundations. So, it’s way better over here.”
This young team is pretty much a blank slate, ready for those to make their own impression on a program building for the future.
“People usually come in and try to make their own legacy for themselves or try to make a better legacy than the guy before them,” said senior runningback Cameron Chatmon. “But here we get to start the legacy at the school so it’s really nice.”
And 10, 15, 20 years down the road, this senior class will have quite the story to tell.
“The first graduating class at a high school, the first graduating class on a football program there’s only one of those,” said Goudeau.