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Aftermath: A Learning Experience

Ruth Gleason
Hawks practicing an offensive play Images courtesy of Ruth Gleason

As the fourth quarter winds to a close, South Christian’s Carson Vis leaps into the endzone to put the Sailors up by three against the Hawks, 32-29. Neither team knew those would be the final points scored in a game, leading to the Hawks’ narrow defeat against last year’s Division Four state champions. The game remained close throughout the four quarters with Coach Schwander’s Hawks gaining the lead for the first time in the third quarter after previously trailing the Sailors for most of the game. As the game wore on, it was clear the Hawks had the Sailors on the ropes. This closeness shocked the Sailors’ team, as they had been 15-0 the previous year.

Coach Schwander’s offensive scheme often leaves other teams’ defenses on their heels, and it was no different this time. Schwander uses three quarterbacks, Mark Fuehrer (‘24), Jackson Arnold (‘25), and Max Ferrick (‘25), to keep the opposing defense off balance, having the three take snaps under center. This strategy allowed the Hawks to earn 21 points in the first half against the impressive Sailor defense — which is considered one of the best in Grand Rapids. A potent running attack kept the Sailors defensive line busy as the Hawks racked up over 258 yards on the ground; four of which resulted in touchdowns. Senior Preston Hoexum ran for over 100 yards and Junior Max Ferrick ran over 70 yards of his own. Some may be surprised at that, but this is exactly what the Hawks’ offense was built to do with its talented running backs and veteran offensive line. The success in the running game had the whole team feeling like they had the edge throughout the game. Wide receiver and corner Eli Prominski (‘24) stated,  “I think we definitely felt like we had the momentum most of the game.” 

For a team tasked with taking down state champions, they did not seem intimidated by the challenge presented by South Christian. However, the Hawks weren’t the only ones to have impressive offense. South Christian’s quarterback Carson Vis (‘25) had his own exciting moments on the field. The star QB hit 60% of his passes, three of which resulted in touchdowns. Continuing into the game, Vis gained over 200 yards throwing and 80 yards on the ground, allowing him to pick apart the Hawks’ defense for the first half, putting up 26 points for the Sailors. Despite this, the Hawks held the South Christian team to a division of just six points in the second half; unfortunately, that would be all the Sailors needed to get over the finish line.

This outcome does not come as a loss for the Hawks however, as they were able to not only keep up with one of the best teams in Grand Rapids, but also nearly beat the defending state champions. If anything, this game showcases how much progress Coach Schwander and his staff have made in their time at Forest Hills Eastern. Linebacker Nate Kelso (‘25) couldn’t agree more, exclaiming,  “…We just defended our own and almost beat, 100% could’ve beat, seven out of ten times, a team that’s defending the state title you know?”

This sentiment is shared amongst the other players as well as they tackle the oncoming week. They look forward to this Friday, September 22, when they will travel to Kenowa Hills and face the Knights in enemy territory. Regardless of the outcome of this previous game, the Hawks can walk away from the South Christian feeling confident they can trade punches with anybody and remain optimistic about their future in this season.           

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About the Contributor
Julian Zolenski
Julian Zolenski, Staff Writer
Julian Zolenski is a Senior at Forest Hills Eastern. This is his second year being on the Hawk Herald Staff. Julian enjoys a number of different things about his busy life including working as a line cook, playing with his dog, and hanging out with his friends. Right now Julian has a dream of being a Sports Commentator. He intends to accomplish this goal by majoring in Broadcast Journalism in his college future. Julian knows this is a lofty goal, but he will not let anything stop him from accomplishing it.   
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