Freshmen steal Spirit Week as Football falters at Homecoming game

From the stands, the combination of the competitive nature of Spirit Week and the fighting spirit of the team created an electric atmosphere.

Hammonton cornerback Caleb Nartey intercepts an Eastern pass attempt, to the dismay of kicker Alex Shedlovskiy.

Nothing quite matches up to the sheer excitement that the Homecoming Game brings. Always a premier event at Eastern, the wild, hard-fought Spirit Week culminates in a final chance to earn points for your class. If your class truly takes school spirit to heart, there’s always the opportunity for a valiant last-stand.

  Historically, the seniors have always reigned supreme in Spirit Week. Despite the best efforts of their opposition, no one consistently takes down the senior dynasty.

  In the brisk, evening atmosphere of the final Spirit Week event, an underdog rose above the pack, and defied the odds to bring down the senior class.

  Accompanied by an exhilarating cage-match against Hammonton, the game-time atmosphere was something to behold.

  Eastern came out of the gate with a roaring start, catching Hammonton by surprise with an onside kick. They started the high-scoring affair with a Mike Suarez rushing touchdown from two yards out. After the opening blow, the Vikings enjoyed a quick defensive drive, recovering a Hammonton fumble less than a minute later. Midway through the second quarter, Suarez tallied his second rushing touchdown of the night to hand Eastern a 14-7 lead. 

 While their offensive unit was rather strong, the Vikings were haunted by countless turnovers, especially leading up to halftime. In the last minute of the half, Eastern gave up the ball twice, including a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Both teams’ quarterbacks fired the ball well throughout the second half, as Eastern started the second half with a 43-yard touchdown to wide receiver Jordan Diaz. Hammonton answered back with a 32-yard passing touchdown late in the third quarter. 

  One of the most crucial plays of the game occurred with 10:30 left in the fourth, when Eastern turned the ball over in the red zone, wasting a golden opportunity to make it a one possession game. Despite the missed scoring chance, Suarez responded with a third touchdown, closing the deficit to 35-27. Unfortunately, the Vikings couldn’t complete the comeback, losing the Homecoming Game by a final score of 35-27. 

  From the stands, the combination of the competitive nature of Spirit Week and the fighting spirit of the team created an electric atmosphere. The metallic rings of kids jumping on bleachers and students attempting to crowd surf set the scene. 

  Students from every class came out to get as many Spirit Week points as they could. In the early parts of the game, the student section was flooded with seniors, who displayed dominance over the rest of the school. “Go home freshmen” could be heard all the way to Voorhees Middle School. 

  At halftime, students were biting their nails to hear the news of the Homecoming King and Queen, but more importantly, the results of Spirit Week. Name after name, the Homecoming Court was called announced, with students supporting each and every member. When the winners, Amanda Middleman and Jacob Goldstein, were announced, the crowd went crazy. “That’s my president!”, one senior exclaimed when hearing that Goldstein had come out on top. 

  After the results were announced, it was evident that students were ready for the big news: the winner of Spirit Week. It felt like time stood still in the crowd, with groups of friends huddled together, awaiting the momentous announcement. 

  Using a megaphone that could be heard across the entire stadium, senior Sandford Zeng announced the results. With the anticipation building to a climax, Zeng made the shocking announcement. “And coming in first place with a total of 207,000 points, the Class of… 2023!” The statement echoed across the stadium with absolute elation from one side and utter disbelief from another. The freshmen had upset the senior class. 

  To add insult to injury, the chant “Go home seniors” started from the crowd, and this time could likely be heard all the way to Berlin Community School. One senior expressed his emotions, saying, “I can’t believe we lost to the freshmen, I’m gutted right now.” 

  For the seniors, this had been a night to remember, for all the wrong reasons. A loss to the freshmen and a gut-wrenching loss on the field to Hammonton. For the freshmen, this had been a week filled with increasing excitement, and culminating in jubilation.

  No matter which grade you are in, this is definitely a Spirit Week to remember.