Ponies football season comes to an end


Photo by Sophia Arndt

The Ponies football team prepare for their final game against Wayzata. The team finished the 2021 season with a 8-2 score.

Sophia Arndt, Photography Editor-in-Chief and Copy Editor

The Ponies Football team finished the 2021 season with an astounding 8-2 record. The season began Sep. 2, rousing the student population for the first week of school. But work did not begin the day of; the team had been preparing for the new season since early summer. Many worked out individually and participated in team practices or one-a-days. The first game was held at Ponies Stadium, where the team won against their most anticipated rival. 

Season begins

Ponies Football started off with a spirited success, the team beating rival team Centennial. The team had lost to the Cougars multiple years; but in the 2021 season opener, the Ponies crushed Centennial 7-0. The game roused spirits both in the team and in the stands. 

“We had never never beaten Centennial,” said senior Mason Buck. “And it was just a big goal of ours to start the season off right and, and beat a team that we’ve always lost to. And we did that and let’s just say it was a good night.”

This winning attitude continued throughout the season as the Ponies continued to dominate their home games. Fan sections packed every Friday night, the Ponies season was off to a good start. Celebrations were had with friends and family, with the team often convening at local restaurants in celebration. 

“The highlight of my high school career, to be completely honest, is Friday nights after a game,” said senior Austin Buck. 

Teamwork and communication greatly helped the players on the field. An emphasis on brotherhood and trusting one another was emphasized by captains and coaches alike. 

“This year, we had phenomenal captains, phenomenal leaders…” said Austin. “I think that in this program, the talent is there in the future, I think if you have good leaders that are willing to put winning over their own success and things like that. I think the future of the football team is really good.”

Another hard fought game, Eden Prairie was the first loss of the Ponies season. The away game took place on a cold night on Oct. 21, where the team lost 28-21 in a non-conference game against the Eagles.  

But this season was not just about the team. Enthusiastic fans showed their support every week, dressing in themes and participating in raucous cheers. The student section is a central part to the Friday celebrations. 

Senior Hugh Hanlon describes the Eden Prairie game as his favorite, with the team contesting every play. The students was packed tight, a sea of sports jerseys and winter hats, following the theme while staying warm on the windy night. 

“We just had like all these like kind of like miracle plays that kept us hanging on, like at one point we were back to 21-21,” explained Hanlon

Leaving with a few injuries and thirst for redemption, the Ponies rallied and triumphed at their following game, winning 54-14 against Eagen.

The final game

Though they did not win, the final game of the Ponies season was nothing short of amazing. The team fought hard against Wayzata in the State Finals Playoffs, the home game ending in a 28-7 score.

“I think they were better than we knew, or anticipated maybe, but like we had good effort…” explained Mason. “I think none of us were mentally prepared to end the season… And so once like the second half came, third quarter, fourth quarter, and you start like this thought of, oh, this could be my last game… this could be it.”

With the season coming to an end, departing seniors are leaving their beloved team with many fond memories. Juniors are stepping into these new positions of power, beginning to prep for the anticipated new season. 

“Being a senior and leaving that field, leaving that the the guys leaving the coaches. It’s all just something that I have a very positive connotation to,” said Austin. “Just because we lost doesn’t mean I think badly of our players or the program. It was still a great time.”


Pull Quote: “We just had like all these like kind of like miracle plays that kept us hanging on, like at one point we were back to 21-21,” explained Hanlon