POTTSGROVE — With the scoreboard still lit well after Friday's District 1-AAA semifinal was finished, 11 Pottsgrove seniors took the field together for the final time to reminisce on the memories made in their four years as Falcons.
The players — Tyrone Parker, Sene Polamalu, Anthony Pond, Tommy Sephakis, Riley Michaels, Nico Demetrio, Max Wickward, Jeremy Cuadrado, Marquis Barefield, Jalen Mayes and Jeff Adams — held hands and walked the length of the field the only way they knew: as a team.
Through tears, the Falcons teammates hugged as fans and families looked on from the stands following a heartbreaking 27-26 loss to Academy Park.
After trailing 14-6 at half, the Pioneer Athletic Conference champion Falcons (11-1) roared back and led by as much as six points. But in the end, Knights quarterback Brian Ingram took a knee with 34 seconds on the clock to close the game and respectively end Pottsgrove's stellar season.In their time playing for the Falcons, the Class of 2014 seniors have lost only three games on their home turf. Head coach Rick Pennypacker felt his seniors had nothing to be ashamed of following the loss — and more importantly their careers at Pottsgrove.
"This group is very special to me. I have a lot of great memories with them,' said Pennypacker. "I thought our kids played their hearts out, but it just wasn't our game of football tonight.'
Although Pottsgrove completed an undefeated regular season, the final loss will not soon be forgotten, according Adams a linebacker and tight end. Having lost in the semifinals last year, he hoped this season would be different.
"We earned our first goal, but we had bigger aspirations (for this season),' he said. "You've got to give them credit. They came out and drove on us.'
For Michaels, the squad's quarterback and safety, the one-point loss to Academy Park is something that will run through his mind often.
"We got momentum and it's key to keep momentum,' said Michaels. "But they made big plays, and it shut down our momentum real quick.'
Even through heartbreak, Michaels knows that he'll always have his teammates and the memories they made this season. For him, this season has not been just about football; it's been about a brotherhood shared with his teammates.
"There will never be a group of people in my life that will be as tight as we are,' he said. "We've been through so much. These memories will never leave us.'
Adams believes that his senior teammates have set a perfect example for the underclassmen. He believes that if the younger players on the team carry a similar work ethic into the 2014 season, the Falcons should be even better than they were this season.
"We've been a great group of seniors,' said Adams. "Hopefully the underclassmen take our work ethic and use it to their advantage.'
Follow Thomas Nash on Twitter @Thomas_Nash10