Astros Have Huge Expectations This Season

By Manny Rodriguez and Alex Muhammad

      It’s the beginning of another football season, and for this season  the Shepard Astros have high expectations with an influx of strong juniors and some key seniors returning. Also there are some new faces on the sidelines this season.

      Second year coach John Rone has some lofty goals for this year’s squad, he said.“Our goal  is to become conference champions and go farther than any team in school and program history, stated Rone.”

      Some of the top players include seniors Eli Vinson and Matt Hightower, junior Jalen Smith, and Alex Harris a transfer from Argo High School.

     Vinson is a safety on the defensive side and will see some action at tight end.

     “Elijah Vinson is our only returning all conference player and has only gotten better since last year, said Rone.”Jalen Smith played varsity as a sophomore last year, is two-way starter this year and also has improved since last year. Alex Harris is a guy that has caught on with us this year and has all the talent in the world. Thomas Smith steps in as our quarterback and can do various things really well from the position. Matt Hightower who has multiple college football scholarship offers already is heck of a player as is our unquestioned leader Grant Larkins and the heart of offensive line Kurt Vanderwall” 

       In the first game of the season, the Astros defeated against Leyden with a victory of 20-10. A great start to the season 1-0. 

       The second game of the season, the Astros faced St. Francis with another victory to go 2-0. The final score was 49-46. Jalen Smith had a 83 hard interception return touchdown in that game.

       In week three, the Astros traveled to Burbank to take on the Rams of Reavis.  The Astros won 28-17 to go 3-0. Alex Harris had 18 carries 223 yards and one touchdown.

       The fourth game of the season, the Astros continue their winning streak to go 4-0. The 4-0 start was the best by an Astro team since 1993. That team finished the season 9-0.  The final score was 45-17. Alex Harris had 11 carries, 151 yards rushing, and one touchdown. Elijah Vinson had 68 yards receiving and a pick six.

       Rone likes this years team chemistry. Rone said, “It’s actually better than I thought it was going to be over the winter. These guys hangout with each other and feed off one another’s quirks causing for a true brotherhood. That brotherhood is what will allow us to help each other keep the don’t stop attitude and overcome adversity.”

      The fifth game of the season, the Astros had their first loss of the season to Eisenhower 20-14. With a stressful week the Astros will bounce back by getting prepared for Oak Lawn this Friday on their homecoming game.