More than a game

The Haven Football captains talk football, academics, and the importance of image.

Senior+football+captains+Anthony+Crawford%2C+Ben+Farabaugh%2C+Bobby+Fooskas+and+Sam+Milligan+prepare+for+the+coin+toss+at+the+Oct.+7+away+game+versus+Ridley.+Haven+won+41-16.

Kelly Montague '25

Senior football captains Anthony Crawford, Ben Farabaugh, Bobby Fooskas and Sam Milligan prepare for the coin toss at the Oct. 7 away game versus Ridley. Haven won 41-16.

Kelly Montague '25, Contributor

As you sit in the stands of George L. King field, you begin to hear the familiar beginning of the iconic song, “Welcome to the Jungle,” by Guns ‘N Roses play. It announces the presence of the Strath Haven Panthers, running through the tunnel, through the poster, and into the Friday night lights. 

Throughout the fall, there was never a dull moment within the football community. Most notably, the Panthers became the Central League Champions for the first time in over a decade. And throughout their 2022 journey, there was a lot to unpack, whether it was on the field or off the field. 

For the team, there was a lot of uncertainty in the beginning. Senior captain Bobby Fooskas commented on the unpredictable outcome of the season.

“I’d say that coming into this season, we did not know how we were going to be. We lost our whole offensive line from last year, like [Chase] Barlow ’22 and [Matt] Shuler ’22, and our running backs. So we really didn’t know how good we were going to be,” he said.

According to the players, one of the best aspects of the team were the bonds they built. The records may have shown a great game, but sometimes, the players didn’t always feel it.

“Maybe you have a down day or [you’re] just not 100%. [The team] always brought you back to it. So it’s fun to be with them. Like, even just in between school and practice. Just sitting in the locker room. There’s always something funny to discuss. So it’s like a lot of fun. We were close, but I felt like we … like, had fun together more than we have in past years,” senior captain Sam Milligan said.

Kelly Montague ’25

While the athletes may be the stars of Haven, some people forget that they’re regular people too. There’s the stereotype that they’re “jocks” without a thought in their heads. However, this isn’t necessarily the case.

“Coach Clancy, at the beginning of every season, every year, talks about how the football players need to be sitting at the front of the classroom, paying the most attention, being the most respectful to the teachers and whatnot. I mean, as like a team, you’re all grouped together,” senior captain Ben Farabaugh said.

He explains the importance of looking good for not just yourself, but for the good of the team. 

“So I mean, if I’m acting up or something, and then my teacher has Bobby or Sam the next block, like, she’s thinking, they’re probably the same type of kid,” Farabaugh said. “So having a good image is really good. It’s important, not only for you, but also for your teammates, and just really, the sport in general.”