ATHENA — If there’s one thing Kenzie Hansell wants to see out of his football team, it’s including the community that supports them.
The Weston-McEwen coach got that and much more as the TigerScots were named the OSAA Les Schwab Tires 2A Team of the Month for April.
“This is very exciting,” TigerScots co-captain and quarterback Blane Peal said. “We are looking forward to next year. We are bringing back some older guys, and we are looking to take it to the next level.”
Each winning team is chosen based on performance on the field and in the classroom and service to the community.
“This award stands for everything our program is about,” Hansell wrote in an email to the OSAA. “Forty-seven student-athletes participated this season, and our success is greatly due to the support of our administration, teaching staff, and maintenance staff. Without them, we would not have been as successful as we were.”
Each winner of the Les Schwab Tires Team of the Month award receives a commemorative trophy and $100 to be donated to the team’s program. The TigerScots accepted their award at a Tuesday, May 25, ceremony on the football field.
“It’s pretty crazy,” W-M senior and co-captain Isaac Wood said of the award. “We are a small community. We do what we are asked to do, and that brings success to the program. Now, we just need to get some of the guys in the weight room. They do that, we could be a contender.”
Weston-McEwen finished second in the Blue Mountain Conference with a 2-1 record, and was 4-2 overall.
“We played in every type of weather imaginable — from 16 inches of snow to wind and rain,” Hansell said. “Though it didn’t matter the type of weather, for the sun always seemed to be shining on us — we were able to play football. It’s a joy to be a head coach at Weston-McEwen.”
In the classroom, the TigerScots had a GPA of 2.94, with three players sporting a 4.0 GPA.
Team co-captain Nevin Malchow is one of the players with a 4.0 GPA, and he is class valedictorian.
“For me, and the other seniors, the dedication between academics and football is something we have pride in,” Malchow said. “We like to include the community in what we do as a team, and let them know what our fundraisers are for. We want to be part of the community.”
During the season, the team was unable to have its traditional team dinners, so the team supported eateries in the Athena and Weston communities and met back at the football field to ensure every player had a healthy meal the night before a game.
The food was plentiful once again May 25, as Bill and Margaret Hansell provided a pizza lunch for the team.