Nerves were at an best aerial Friday night at Laurel High’s Spartan Stadium.
Not abandoned had the Spartans’ players and coaches endured a anniversary of fundraisers and media attention all while apprehensive about the bloom of teammate Hayden Hamilton, the team had to amount out how to get aback on track. That was afterwards advertence its 0-2 start.
The Spartans’ duo at active aback had added plans, however. With admirers and coaches decked out in #26Strong shirts on Hamilton’s account as the Laurel green was still at UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh afterwards adversity a astringent analgesic bond abrasion in the team’s Aug. 31 game, Laurel’s players and coaches were assuredly able to focus on aloof a football game.
Daniel Blank, a junior, and Luke McCoy, a freshman, fabricated abiding Laurel fabricated quick assignment of visiting Bishop Canevin, active for a accumulated 197 yards on 18 carries and four touchdowns in a active 44-7 rout to aces up the team’s aboriginal achievement of the season.
“We apperceive that we’re a acceptable team,” McCoy said. “We aloof absent on brainy mistakes.”
For their performance, Blank and McCoy were named as Lawrence County Aerial School co-Athletes of the Anniversary sponsored by Washington Centre Physical Therapy and called by the New Castle News sports staff.
Blank best up a aggregate of the arena yardage for the Spartans, active for 124 yards on aloof eight carries and a touchdown. McCoy, who’s sixth amid arch rushers in Lawrence County, denticulate three times and ran for 72 yards on 10 carries. McCoy –– whose goals accommodate breaking the school’s hasty almanac –– is additionally the county’s second-leading scorer at 34 points, abaft aloof Wilmington’s Cameron Marett (42).
“Everyone was motivated aloof to try and get the win abnormally for Hayden,” McCoy said.
The Spartans formed up all 400 of its aggregation yards on the ground, including 311 on 31 carries in the aboriginal bisected alone. Laurel led, 44-0, at the bisected as the inferior varsity played afterwards the intermission.
“Nerves were up,” Blank said. “I didn’t apperceive what affectionate of aggregation they were. I affectionate of had to put my arch bottomward and animate my aggregation to do bigger than what was expected. Aback we got out there, i acquainted the activity and ran as adamantine as I could. I didn’t affliction who was in advanced of me. I aloof ran.”
The Spartans raced to an aboriginal advance aloof account into the game, ambience the tone.
“We accomplished all anniversary and we’ve consistently heard we accept to blaze on all cylinders from the aboriginal comedy and appearance them what affectionate of aggregation we are,” Blank said. “We knew we had to appear calm and blaze on all cylinders. That aboriginal play, I was aloof accepting fretfulness out.
Blank, third on the Lawrence County hasty leaderboard with 233 yards and three touchdowns, accepted there was a lot of absorption surrounding the game, but that Hamilton adapted it all.
“Honestly, Hayden deserves every bit of absorption he can get,” Blank said. “Every backyard I ran for was carefully for him. I affectionate of had to block it (the attention) out and focus on the game.”
If anything, Hamilton’s abrasion affected the aggregation to appear calm and refocus on the adolescent season. Trailing in the additional bisected aback Hamilton was injured, the Spartans were affected to try and win a football d afterwards he was taken by ambulance and again aureate by helicopter to Pittsburgh.
“Especially afterwards Hayden’s injury, it motivated me to do my best for him,” McCoy said. “I feel like appropriate afterwards our accident adjoin Roer, we affectionate of had to appear out for Hayden and comedy our best football.”
Moving forward, Blank said he’s activity to allocution with the aggregation about arena for anniversary added and drillmaster Brian Cooper and the blow of the apprenticeship staff, who advance endless hours into the affairs but still fabricated trips to appointment Hamilton in the hospital.
“Number one, Hayden will never absolutely be out of our arrangement as he’s aggravating to action aback and aggravating to get better,” Blank said. “We will try and do the same. We will try and accomplish him blessed as he’s sitting in there. … we’re activity to try and action for him and the coaches because they amusement us as family. Like with Hayden, they were devastated. All the coaches went bottomward to the hospital. It was like it was their own son.
“This anniversary I’m activity to try and allocution about accepting the accumulation to action for Hayden and abnormally for the coaches.”
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