ESPN’s focus shifts to Stillwater


Photo by Elise Laudet

For the first time in history, the Stillwater Ponies played live on ESPN against Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders. Even though they were placed under the spotlight, the Ponies remained focused and triumphed to win 21-7 over Cretin.

On the Sept. 13 the Stillwater football team took on the Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders in a game featured by ESPN2.  The Ponies had lost to the Raiders for the past two years and were looking for revenge.

Jashon Cornell, the #1 recruit for football in the class of 2015, was highlighted in the game, but Stillwater came out victorious in front of the whole nation.  ESPN2 put the game online for all who missed it to watch.

For the first time in history the Ponies were on ESPN2.  All were excited, yet players seemed exceptionally ready to be in the spotlight.

“I’m sure there will be a different level of excitement and we know we have a unique opportunity but what we really hope is our players are focused,” said head coach Beau LaBore before the game.

Coach Beau LaBore had given his players some advice since he has played on ESPN2 before.  LaBore has plenty of experience coaching and playing the game of football, so he kindly lent some words of wisdom to his hardworking team.

“Remember what’s important, it’s not ESPN, it’s not national television, its years of playing football and preparation for the game,” said LaBore in reference to his players.

Junior Zach Knox received a few phone calls and texts from an assortment of college coaches and radio talk shows after the game.  Knox being called the workhorse of the team has had his time in the spotlight and it does not seem to be fading away.

“I prepared for the game the same way, treating it normally. This just happened to catch the attention of a lot of people,” said Knox.

The Ponies won 21-7. Junior Matt Anderson caught a touchdown pass that night.  Anderson played varsity football as a sophomore and changed roles to a tight end/wide receiver this year.

“I had dropped a couple of balls earlier but I made the catch eventually and we came out on top,” explained Anderson.

Before the game, LaBore answered to a question involving a change in play because the game is on ESPN2.

“ESPN2 does not change the game play, however with TV timeouts and extended quarter breaks it may assist the level of intensity.  Both teams will have longer rest and be more efficient but the game might lose some momentum,” explained LaBore.

After a long few weeks of preparing for this intense game the Ponies come out victorious!  CDH had once held the attention of the nation because of their star running back, cornerback and defensive end, but Stillwater steals the glory and the win.