Football team prepares for Homecoming


Emily Lofgren

Taking the snap, senior quarterback Collin Krewson prepares to run the play. Parkway West defeated Parkway South 35-0 in the first game of the season.

Kicking off the season with a 3-2 record, the varsity football team is preparing for their biggest game yet: homecoming.

The Longhorns have held winning record (including homecoming games) since 2016. This year, the team faces the 4-1 Clayton High School Greyhounds.

“Every year, West vs. Clayton is a good game to watch, I think we can come out with a win as long as we work together as a unit,” junior linebacker Luke Ward said. “We aren’t a very big team by size or numbers, so we have to make up for it with our effort and determination. Against Affton, their linemen were a lot bigger than ours, but our defensive line still outplayed and outhit them. That takes heart.”

West opened the season with three wins against Parkway South, Oakville and Affton, but then suffered consecutive losses against  Rockwood Summit and district rival Parkway North.

“Obviously the loss [to Parkway North] was rough,” junior Walker Piles said. “But I think that we as a team and especially our defense are more cohesive as a unit than in years past. We have three freshmen on varsity and the seniors have done a good job accepting them as a part of our family. I think this week we are the more prepared than we have been all season.”

The team practices for more than 10 hours in a typical week. Additionally, players and coaches meet at 5:30 a.m. on Thursdays for morning practice, a six-year tradition unique to the Longhorns.

“During weeks where we have a big opponent like this one, our moods really shift during morning practice,” senior lineman Ryan Gansen said. “Sometimes we tend to goof off, but during the last couple [of] weeks we have really been focused and driven on achieving unity on defense.”

With the homecoming activities at their peak, the coaches are working with players to help with game situations on the field while also providing a trusted adult for athletes who have problems off the field.

“We usually approach each week the same way on the field,” head football coach Jeff Duncan said. “But off the field our coaches set a good example for the boys as people they can talk to if they have issues. Coach [Wally] Sparks suggested the idea of giving a speech to our boys about how to act on the night of the dance, and since then we have brought parents and community members in to give speeches about their views on the topic.”