TAKING THE LEAD: Goshen seniors set expectations for football team

Published 3:00 am Thursday, August 8, 2019

By Dan Smith

In the town of Goshen, the high school is a community within itself.

There will be 12 seniors on the football roster of the 2019 Eagles, and these dozen young men have spent a majority of their life side by side in the classroom, on a school bus, and now as leaders on the football field.

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“The relationships and the bond we share, it’s all about family, it’s all about love,” said senior Dakarai Pelton. “We have a good past with each other, and we are going to put it together this year and go far.”

There is an attitude and belief among the 2019 Eagles of head coach Bart Snyder, especially among the seniors, that this can be a special year.

Goshen will look to senior leadership from Makel Avery, Blake Bennett, Tre Dix, Bryan Galloway, RaQuan Martin, Dustin McFarland, Dakarai Pelton, Corey Rotten, Wade Routon, Jakamron Rumph, TaMarcus Shipmon and Nico Tempelis.

“There is a lot of leadership with these guys,” said Coach Snyder. “They have put in a lot of work in over the summer. Some of them did not play football a lot, but there is a lot of change in their mentality on how to play the game of football. We see that in how they have practiced, and the work we have done throughout the summer. They have worked hard at being leaders, so the expectations are high for them.

“It builds the next season. It is a legacy that you live. That is what we challenge each group. What are you going to leave for the next group to live up to? How are you going to live your senior year? This group here thinks it is a long season, but they have already had their last ‘first-practice.’ They won’t have that again. Each day that little clock clicks and time ticks off of it. We try to get them to understand that the 7th grade group out there, these seniors need to leave some kind of frame of mind of how do I leave this program so it can be the best that it can be?”

Martin, a senior wide receiver and defensive back, has grown close to many of his teammates on and off the field, and they are prepared to play hard for the name on the front of their jersey.

“We all have this relationship, this bond,” said Martin. “We all stick together on the weekends and all hang with each other. We are ready to play some Goshen Eagles football. Wearing this name on my chest feels good. I love coming to Goshen. I’ve been here since I was in kindergarten. I love the coaching staff. They teach you so much more than what goes on the field. They teach you life lessons, what you need to do in life after school, and they are preparing you for life.”

Rumph, a running back and linebacker, shares the same feelings.

“We play together, and we are family,” said Rumph.

Galloway will split time at quarterback and defensive back, and believes the lifetime the young men have spent together will benefit them on the field this season.

“I think the main thing for us is to be coachable, to practice hard every day and give all our effort and just know as seniors, we only have one more shot,” said Galloway.”

Dix, a senior wide receiver and defensive back, sees a perspective of this team that goes beyond football.

“Goshen football is not just about learning and playing hard, and being physical, it also is keeping God first in everything that you do,” said Dix. “We can’t do anything without God. We need God every day in our lives and Coach Snyder stresses that a lot. Sometimes the players pray, sometimes the coaches pray. As the Bible says, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’”