One Last Go


Josey Ryan

Conner Barnett gives some pointers to Logan Anderson during the game against Westside.

Josey Ryan, Sports Editor

Four years. Freshmen feel as if this will be a lifetime of going to class. Seniors are taking in each last as it comes, making every moment count. For senior athletes, their last year is everything they have worked towards. All the morning workouts, sprints and mental beatdowns, all building up to their last year of putting on the jersey with “Monarchs” across their chest. However, one play can change the whole direction of how their season will play out.

The varsity football team played the Papio South Titans on Friday, Aug. 24. For the 26 seniors, this was their last rivalry game. They looked to make the most of it and get the second straight win against the Titans.

After the first quarter the monarchs had a two point edge on the Titans leading 13-11, and senior quarterback Conner Barnett had his first touchdown of the night. In the second quarter, with about eight minutes to go, the Monarchs were making a run down the field and after a passing play the crowd went silent. The Monarch student section took a seat. Barnett had taken a hard hit and was struggling to get up.

“[After the hit] I thought wow, this is how I’m gonna start the year,” Barnett said.

Barnett was taken off the field and checked on by trainers, who decided he was not able to return to the game due to concussion symptoms. After a brief argument with the trainers, Barnett quickly realized they were doing what was best for him.

“After I got on the headset with coach Jansen, he calmed me down and I realized my teammates are still playing and they need support,” Barnett said.

For the rest of the second quarter, second half and their next game against Westside, Barnett was supporting his team in a different way. Dressed in full pads, tennis shoes and a headset, Barnett helped his team with his leadership.

“After [Barnett] got hurt, he just helped everyone by staying positive and encouraging everyone,” junior Logan Anderson said.

Anderson took the spot as quarterback after Barnett went down and made his first start against Westside.

“[Barnett] is very good at commanding the offense and being a leader,” Anderson said.

Barnett has two years of experience under his belt and helped Anderson all throughout the game, giving him pointers and offering encouragement even through his own discouragement.

“You can’t give up on the people who have never given up on you,” Barnett said, “Football is a family that lasts for a lifetime and they will never give up on you and you will never give up on them.”

Barnett proved he would not be giving up on his team through his support on the sidelines and his teammates could notice the difference he made.

Although his season was shortened, he hopes to get back out on the field as soon as possible.

“[I’m looking forward] to just have the opportunity to play with my friends and brothers on the field,” Barnett said.

Barnett will return to the field tonight as the quarterback and looks to start his season fresh to make this year, his last year, the best year.