There is no denying that the Juggernauts have come out stronger and better than ever from their last season where they only scored one touchdown. So far for this season they have had three games and had no wins, but they never left the field with a zero despite facing last year’s champion (Wolves) and runner-up (Cavemen). Their game last Saturday (29 September) showed how much they have improved with their close game against the Warriors (15 to 12). The Juggernauts have always prided themselves in being a team that persevered and that is definitely starting to show this season.
Improvements came with a lot of adjusting from all aspects of the team – coaches, players and strategies. One of the worries this season came from the Juggernauts being a mix of four teams (Juggernauts, Tigers, Vipers and Lionheads). These teams were originally opponents especially during their summer pre-season practices and they were suddenly made to befriend one another. Furthermore, Coach Oliver Montano said “Football is about camaraderie and having each other’s backs, it was a problem because they all came from different teams so they had their own cliques.” Eventually from training with one another more frequently and sometimes even bonding after practices are what made the team stronger.
Another positive outcome from the merger is that it brought forth a balance. Before the merger each team had their own strengths which filled in whatever the teams lacked individually. The Juggernauts are more on passing and running, the Vipers were more on defense, the Lionheads were more on running and the Tigers were exceptional athletes but they pretty new to tackle football.
One of the biggest and most important improvements they made is their dedication to the game not just on the weekends but even when they were away from the field. The coaches of the Juggernauts have proudly stated that they have had players come up to them to ask about how to polish themselves, where to adjust, and about things they learned while watching football videos. Their player Easton Astorga even remembers how he was gone for a month for vacation, but that didn’t stop him from asking the coaches on what exercises to do while he’s gone in order to continue conditioning himself.
Disappointment is expected from a loss especially since the team was leading for 3 1/2 quarters, but the coaches were mighty proud of the improvement and the close game. “It was a hard loss to swallow but their heads are still up and preparing to play the Rebels in our next game” says Coach Timothus Standifer.
Coach Angel Calugay Jr. said “There’s so much to improve upon however we managed to score on offense and defense. Offensively, our passing game was much better except for the interception in 2nd half. Also our run game improved but suffered at times because of poor ball exchange between QB and RB. We need to do better blocking downfield. Defensively, we still need to do a better job stopping the run on the right side of the defense. We saw much improvement stopping the ball on the left side and much improvement from our secondary against the pass.”
Seeing the lapses and knowing where to improve is the first step to getting even better. To add to that everyone on the team is hungry for their first win which will give them even more determination to succeed. Their next game against the Rebels on 13 October (Saturday) at 6 PM will prove to be even more exciting and a match to anticipate since both teams will be exerting their all to get their first win.