Will Tyrrell
ASU Student Journalist

For Red Mountain, Football = Family

November 13, 2017 by Will Tyrrell, Arizona State University

Once the state playoffs began, the linemen of Red Mountain High School got together at one of their fellow lineman’s homes to celebrate junior Charlie Hola’s birthday. These guys are so close they even bought him a cake

At the lineman’s dinner two weeks ago it was pumpkin bars, and this past week they went to Pizza Pie Café where they made pizookies for Hola.

If you notice there is something fishy about this scenario ... Hola is having his birthday celebrated two weeks in a row. That’s the thing -- it isn’t Hola’s birthday.

“Honestly, you do it for the joke,” senior offensive lineman Julian Chism said.

Going to the extent of buying someone a birthday cake, even though it isn’t their birthday, is just one of many examples of why being a part of a football team is unlike any other.

Just like in any sport, nothing in football is guaranteed, and the outcome at the end of the season will most likely be heartbreaking. But one thing is guaranteed, and that is the bond and relationship the players build throughout the season is unlike any other.

Red Mountain senior quarterback Cannon Griner estimates he spends more time with his teammates than someone would at their standard full-time job.

“I calculated it out the other day and its 44 hours a week I’m with these guys, and you start to learn things about them that you wouldn’t otherwise,” Griner said.

For the Red Mountain football team, spending extra time with their teammates is no burden on them.

Coach Mike Peterson reflects on the team’s week off during fall break to describe how much the team loves spending time together.

“We didn't have enough money in the booster club account to buy everybody breakfast over at Golden Corral so we said, 'Okay, everybody bring in your $10 or $11, and whoever wants to can go up to Golden Corral up the street and we'll have breakfast after our walkthrough.' I'll bet you nearly 100% of us were up there having breakfast together. Just because we wanted to be together. And it wasn't mandatory, and we didn't have to do it, and we all paid for ourselves. And it was just neat. We just wanted to be together,”

Being a part of a team is unique in its own way. You are a part of something bigger than yourself, working and fighting for someone other than yourself.

“It’s nice to know that your brothers have your back. Somedays I might not be having the best day, but my receivers are going to pick me up, my lineman, [and] my defense, it’s [nice] to know you have their back and they have your,” Griner said.

When you look back on this Red Mountain football team's run throughout the season and into the playoffs, it will be hard not to point out how tight the team was on and off the field.