The PHS 2017-18 football team made a commitment at the beginning of the year to go 200 days without caffeine, throughout their camp and the season. Ronaldo Valencia, a junior at PHS and member of the team states, “It was much more than just not drinking caffeine though, it was to bring us together into this brotherhood. To focus on the team and come together more than we ever have before. We were committed and determined to execute our goal.”
For many of the players, it wasn’t hard to not drink caffeine during practice, but while they were with their friends was a true test if they could continue and make their goal a reality. When asked if any of the players came out saying that they had cheated on their goal Valencia said, “As far as I know there wasn’t any confessions we were together a lot and everybody stayed strong nobody ever said that they cheated.”
In an exclusive interview, senior Riley Hansen stated, “We are a new Payson.” Hansen added, “We’re not old Payson, everybody knows that we don’t have the best record, but we’re better now. Our team theme this year has been to become a New Payson. We are working hard towards that goal.”
One constant for the team this year was a devoted and enthusiastic fan section. When asked about our student section Hansen answered, “I think we have the best student section in the state. It really gets the players pumped up when we hear them cheering for us.”
Valencia stated, “Last year we were more split as a team, there were different groups of friends, but this year we’re more together, this year more than any other year.”
Small goals were accomplished and the team grew as a football program. Two hundred days without caffeine allowed the team to grow closer. Battling each week under the lights on the football field allowed the team to grow greater. Supporting the mighty Lions allowed the school to grow together more than ever before. Goal by goal, year by year, Payson High Football continues to grow stronger.
Photos by Michelle Rushton and Alfonso De La Torre of The Lion's Roar Newspaper