Evenings in September: Monthly Football Feature

Written by J.L. Stephenson, 11th grade

MCKINNEY, TEXAS- The day is September the first, and Texas is on the brink of eruption after a long off-season. Like an ancient volcano, citizens lay in waiting, in longing, in admiration for the first weekend of September. Baseball kept them unruly, basketball kept them from a sleepless winter, but September has come and it has Texans foaming at the mouth.

It’s not exactly an understatement to say football is religion once you pass the Red River going south; it is a war fought nearly to death once you wander into the West Texas sun. Football is indeed religion within these borders, and football is indeed among us once more.

The spirit ranges from miniscule towns who can field only seven men, to the national powerhouses who field the future of football itself. Two complete opposite cultures, intertwined by the beauty and spirit of the game. Fans in every crevice and corner of this massive state cry out in joy as the marching band strikes a fierceful tune, and their fellow alumni charge into battle on a cool September evening.

Students at Imagine International have long been left out of this rigorous tradition, many seeking refuge on friday nights at local Allen or McKinney Boyd games, but dare I say they mustn’t seek any longer. This 2016 season is the first in which Dragon Athletics will field a football team. Financially unfit for a full team, the Dragons begin with 7 on 7. Fear not, as this is still a promising move forward, and see it that you may still have pride in this group. Headed and founded by Imagine’s own students, run by passion and drive, they are simply here to win. This is no slouch league either, as there is still playoffs and quite potentially a state championship if we dream that large.

As it stands the team is led by a strong Diploma Programme roster, with skillful young stars mixed within. There is an overflow of talent, and the team currently finds itself amidst a quarterback contest with four potential candidates. Workouts with Coach and Professor Mark Ortiz began in early June; many of the athletes have quite literally dedicated blood, sweat and tears to the program. The official full roster itself will only be released after the first game, but as someone who is within the team, I know the general makeup. (See below)

Stand proud of your fellow Dragons, and the work they’ve put in, drive them with school pride to victory on the latest of these next September Evenings.

Name,  Grade , Potential Position(s)

Jackson Stephenson, 11:                                          QB, C, WR, FS, SR

Johnny Stimax Jr.,11:                                                QB, TE, FS, LB, WR

Maxim Zheltonogov, 11:                                          QB, WR, SS, SR

Bilal Qureshi, 10:                                                       QB, C, WR, CB

Benjamin Young, 11:                                                 WR, CB, SR

Sebastian Chowdhury, 11:                                       WR, CB, SR

Ryan Palczynski, 11:                                                  LB, TE

Edward Gathuru, 11:                                                 WR, SR, CB

Andres Quintero, 11:                                                WR, LB, CB

Bella Colandrea, 11:                                                  WR, CB

Christian James, 09:                                                SR, TE, CB

Douglas Banda, 10:                                                   RB

Jonah Walkowski, 10:                                              TE, LB


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