By: Brian Hines

Starting Corner Back, Senior Jonathan Staker looks back and reflects on the beginning of his final football season as a part of the Golden Bears. Injury amongst the seniors and starters on the team have been creating gaps in the line up that have had effects on the team and their winning percentage. However, with a couple late 4th quarter wins and a large home field advantage with a recharged student section, the team is now getting back on track.

Q: Alright, so, it’s your senior year and the football team got off to a pretty rocky start, how is this affecting the team with the beginning of the season starting off so poorly?

A: Well at first it was pretty tough, just to come to terms with losing because we had never lost a lot playing through our freshmen to junior years and stuff, and so we tried to come to terms with it and accept it and say that we’re just going to get better and it anything it probably brought the team closer together because we had to work hard in practice to get through it probably brought the team closer together if anything.

Q: Would you say things got started off all wrong with the hand gesture incident? How much did that impact the team?

A; Umm…It didn’t really, well, we stayed pretty united during it like no one got like angry at each other. I think it was just more of a stupid thing that once you look back on in a couple of years you realize it was a stupid thing to do, but it really didn’t affect the team too much other than we lost a bunch of our starters, that’s the main affect of it and it didn’t really divide the team or anything.

Q:             On top of the incident and the suspensions that can from that, would you say that injury has been bringing the team down with a lot of the seniors and/or starters sitting on the sidelines?

A: Absolutely, yeah absolutely, it’s been tough. We lost like, Kyle and Karram, Mark, just like a bunch of starters who are big parts of our team, so it’s been tough to like, fill in the pieces of the puzzle we are missin’ but we just got to find a way and get through it.

Q:             How many of the seniors have been injured?

A: Um, well 3 of our captains are injured out of the 6, actually, 4 of the 6 are injured. I’d say around total of about 7 or 8 seniors are hurt right now.

Q:             Well, with the season about half was through, with some close last minute victories, would consider this a spark to turn around the season? What else needs to happen to keep the wins coming?

A: We need more cow-bells from the student section I think, that’s going to help a lot! Ha-ha, that’s going to help a lot. But yeah yeah, defiantly I think the last minute wins have been pretty sweet, and we also got a pretty easy game coming up so hopefully we’ll get over the 500 mark and then continue our success. So I’m hoping for the best.

Q:            You mentioned the student section, how much has that impacted the home games?

A: Its pretty tight, I mean, to look up there and have it filled all the way to the top, it gives you another motivation to play, not that you don’t have one already, but it just gives you an extra push like in the 4th quarter.

Q:            Has there been a lot of home field advantage?

A: I would say most definitely, it’s like a 12th man!

Q:             Ha-ha, well the next question, what do you think that you individually have to do and make happen for the defense to step up and start keeping the other team from scoring?

A: Honestly our defense has been doing pretty well. We having let much in as far as scoring. But myself, I just got to get healthy and get back to the game. I got hurt last game and am out for the next two weeks, but I think we’ve got to keep just doing what we are doing because we have had great games the last 3 or 4 games we’ve only let them score a total of 28 points in 4 games, that’s pretty dang good.

Q:             Yeah it is. You mentioned you are injured for the next two or so weeks, how is that affecting you when you are also a senior and a big part of the defense and the whole team in general?

A: I mean it sucks really but you just got to realize you got to do what you can to help the team, weather its in the locker rooms or you know just like in practice helping people that will be taking your spot and you just got to help them and teach them the best you can and hope that they can fill where you once were, you just got to try to get better?

Q:             Does the team have any specific goals in mind? What are they and what needs to be done to meet these goals?

A: Well we want to win states! But I mean, it’s going to be tough where we are right now! But definitely will the OCC, beat Coffman, beat Davidson, which are huge games at the end of the season because they are both undefeated right now and so those are huge things for us but we got to focus on the next few games, get those wins and then really put the hammer down and focus on Davidson and Coffman.

Q:             Do you have personal goals of your own or things you would like to see happen?

A: Uh, personal goals… I would just like to see us have the most successful season as possible, and personally I just want to get a Pick, I’ve dropped a couple picks this year I should have had, and I have developed the name “Almost” and I’d like to get that big name abolished as soon as I can, its not a good name to have.

Q:             Do they call you “Almost” because you almost have the interception but you miss it?

A: Yup, yup, that would be it.

Q:             Alright, so with the play of the team starting to pick up in the second half of the season, how would you like to see the team make it to the play-offs and how would you like to see them really get far into the play-offs?

A: Yeah we just want to go as far as we can and just keep pumping out doing what we do well, just keep the momentum going and making it as far as we can.

Q:            Who would you like to see your team playing the first round of the play-offs? Is there any specific team that you’d like to match up with first to kind of get the play-off nerves out of the way and get the team really focused?

A: I’d want to play St. Thomas Aquinas again! It’s not in the realm of possibilities so, if not that, probably Pickerington Central because they beat us twice last year or maybe Finlay because they beat us and we just played an awful game so yeah either Finlay or defiantly Pickerington Central I’d like to see.

Q:             Do you think that a majority of the injured seniors or starters will be back in the line up by the time the play-offs roll in?

A: Well we have a couple injuries that are season ending but yeah defiantly I think JJ, let see, ill be back, I’m pretty sure there is just a couple other nicks and bruises that are affecting us right now but they should be back by the end of the season and the last couple games so that should help us.

Q:             Alright, well good luck with the rest of your season.

A: Well thanks man!

Q:             Thanks for the interview.