The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Inside The Helmets: New Coach, New Attitude

“Football is a team sport. There are no individuals. It’s really about respecting yourselves and your teammates. Every time you step onto the field, you take your opponent seriously and you show them the same respect that you do yourself. Football is about pride, it’s about discipline and it’s about respect.” -Head Coach Jon Kadi


One word can sum up the varsity football team’s new frame of mind: family. Where last year there was discord; this year cooperation has become the team’s new focus. Where last year there was division, this year unity has become crucial.

“Coach Kadi brings the team closer together,” said senior co-captain Michael Pitsenberger. “We can all talk to each better this year. The communication is better.”

There have been many changes to the team since last year, most notably the departure of last year’s head coach, Tom Mulholland, and the promotion of Kadi from assistant coach to head coach. The team has also adjusted to many new faces on the coaching staff, including current teachers Tom Rogers and Butch Worden (who coached the football team to an 8-2 season in 1999) who have both joined and integrated into the team.

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With the team becoming more closeknit this season, they are able to work more efficiently on other areas of their game. Conditioning has been a major focal point in this year’s practices and the players are noticing the benefits.

“Last year, the conditioning was kind of lackadaisical,” said senior defensive end Sam Lichtman. “This year, [coach Kadi] is really pushing us to the max. I think it has helped the team on the field. We’re able to keep our starters in the entire game the whole season. The only problem is everybody’s getting injured this year.”

Decimated by nagging injuries to several key players, (Pitsenberger, Lichtman, senior co-captain Tristan Plunkett and junior offensive lineman Tyler Phelps have all been hurt at some point this season), and the team has pulled up several players from the junior varsity team in order to accomplish everything they have to in
practice.

“We can’t do our drills full speed or hit each other in practice if we don’t have enough guys,” said Kadi. “It hurts us when we try to practice and we’re missing guys to injury. Last week, we were missing seven or eight guys on average each in practice, which showed in the game
against Gaithersburg.”

But despite the setbacks the injuries have caused, the team is revved up and ready to go for tonight’s homecoming game against Poolesville. After tasting victory for the first time in 36 games last year against Poolesville, the team looks to repeat history by beating them again for their first win of the season. Kadi and the Wildcats look to get their first win of the season tonight against Poolesville.

*As seen in print. 

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