Royals Football: It’s More Than a Game

Josie Neu

For the past five weeks, our Royals football team has played to their highest ability, and have come out successful. This is an unexpected turn of events compared to our past few years as a team. When you’re at one of these games, you can physically feel the energy, on and off the field.

In an interview with WishTV, senior Holden Malone was asked what makes our student section so great. Malone’s immediate response was, “We’ve been through some hardships this year, and now it’s more than just a game for us.”

This year our Royal Family has indeed faced some hardships. On August 16th of this year, seniors Elle and Belle Gaddis and class of 2021 alum Brianna Foster were tragically killed in a car accident while on vacation. These girls were loved by so many, including myself. They brought light everywhere they went, and that did not go unnoticed.

We had all already gone through so much pain in the past 515 days. For those 515 days we spent apart, we finally needed to come together. We quickly raised $155,000+ for their families and several businesses around Fishers began fundraisers to show their support.

The Royal’s home opener football game occurred on August 20th, just four days after this tragic event. Blue Crew held a memorial for the girls before the game begin and everyone was given a candle to light to memorialize the light these girls brought to our school, and the sight was beautiful.

That game, I stood on the field alongside the Gaddis family, the Foster family, and the Walts family to watch the coin toss. Senior Isaiah Kegley was one of the players with us. Before the referee flipped the coin, Kegley pointed to the girls families and said, “We’re going to win this game for you.” And that they did.

The final score of that game versus Lawrence Central was an astounding 35-7. Seniors Dylan Conner, Noah Wolf, Blaine Wertz, Louden Sundling, Alex Geroulis, and Will Gerig were our scorer’s of the evening. Our team worked as hard as they possibly could that game, and the success was unbelievable. Several of our own football players have people¬†off¬†the field to give some credit to: Our students.

Every game in these five weeks the student section has been filled to the brim. In the biggest rivalry game of the year against the Fishers Tigers, there were students in every nook in cranny they could find in the bleachers. Students shouted every chant in the book and won the annual battle of who has the most spirit, and what followed was a satisfying result. The Royals were victorious in the Mudsock game for the first time in 3 years, ending the game with a winning score of 42-13.

Through all our highs, though, there are lows. Senior Connor Ruhnow took a career ending hit while receiving a punt in the game last Friday against Westfield, but the second he got placed into the truck, he was waving his arms at the student section as they chanted, “We love Connor!” He smiled and waved at the crowd as he was driven to the trainers, showing mutual love in the air for not only the game, but for every single person in that stadium.

Win or lose, triumph or disappointment, we are a family. We come together when we need it most, and create a community that neither this school nor I have ever seen. I hope to see this trend continue in the coming years, and that the legacy our seniors, not only listed above, but everywhere else, have left upon this school never go unnoticed.





Photo Credit Image 3: Olivia White (@owhitephotos)