Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs

Clarion

Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs

Clarion

Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs

Clarion

Staff Profile
John Shay
John Shay
Staff Reporter

RB football tackles new schedule

The+football+team+lined+up+before+the+August+25+home+game.
Ella Herr
The football team lined up before the August 25 home game.

For the 2023-2024 football season, Riverside Brookfield High School’s football team is moving conferences to compete in the Southland Conference. The conference consists of Kankakee High School, Crete-Monee High School, Thornwood High School, Thornridge High School, Rich Township, Bloom Township, and Thornton Township.

The move comes after nine schools left the Metro Suburban Conference after the 2022-2023 school year. The change is temporary, as after this season, they will compete in the Upstate Eight Conference (UEC). However, the only game this season with an opponent from last year was against Morton on August 25, which RB won 42-13.

“Anytime you get to start off 1-0 is much better than starting off 0-1. What’s also great about Morton is that they’re a crosstown rivalry. A lot of our players know a lot of their players from growing up together playing youth football against one another. Being able to get the first one feels a lot better than not,” varsity football coach Samuel Styler said.

Every other opponent this year is going to be new from last year. Some teams, like Hinsdale South, RB has played before when they were in the West Suburban Conference, which RB left in 1982. All new opponents this year are a little farther away than usual, which adds to longer travel times and another layer of difficulty for the team to adapt to.

“We’re fortunate enough that the first three weeks are home games for us, so we get to get into a little bit of a groove with what we get to do before games and after games,” Styler said. “When we start to get to those away matches where travel is going to be a little longer, we’re going to have to leave school earlier. That’s going to present some new challenges but I know our guys are going to be ready for whatever comes at them. They’ve been able to face adversity all offseason.”

One of the largest changes this season is the size of the schools the team plays. Last year, the average enrollment of the schools RB played was about 1,350 students. This year, it’s nearly 2,400 students. For some context, the enrollment at RB is around 1,650, so it can be challenging to play against schools that have more students.

“We’ve got bigger, faster, stronger opponents from last year, so it’s going to be more challenging to figure out our pace,” quarterback Diego Gutierrez said. “The mission for each game is going to be different. The strategies for each game are going to be different. The game plan for each game is going to be different than last year.”

Playing stronger teams means there are more opportunities to challenge players before the season ends. Five wins are needed to make it into the IHSA playoffs, so even though the process of each game is different, the end mission is still the same: to win.

“The focus of our program is always to go 1-0 every week,” Styler said. “So we’re just making sure we come as prepared as possible to make sure that each week we are as mentally, physically, emotionally prepared as we can to go face these new opponents.”

RB is coming into each game this season prepared. The other teams in the Southland Conference were hesitant to allow a new team into the conference, but RB is proving that they belong.

“Our coaches said they didn’t want us in their conference because they said they were too good for us, and we went out there and beat them,” lineman Manny Garcia Rivera said. “[I] would be expecting anything. Anything could happen, but we’re focusing more on us than them.”

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About the Contributors
Quinn Hendricks
Quinn Hendricks, Sports Editor
This is sophomore Quinn Hendricks’s second year on the staff at the RB clarion. Quinn enjoys playing many sports, such as soccer and basketball, and he runs in cross country and track for RB. In his free time he likes to… well, he doesn’t actually have free time so he doesn’t do much. In lieu of free time he watches sports and watches the highlights of Bo Bichette, the most good looking baseball player and person of all time. Even when sports is unavailable, you can find him listening to ESPN, a much better thing to listen to than the playlist of Izzie Marth. Annoyed by Aryan Hernandez, barely surviving. You can often find Quinn supporting RB athletics at soccer, football, basketball, and volleyball games. 2 younger brothers constantly pester him. Willing to trade younger brother Kai for Aryan’s younger brother Rushil. Lives by the motto “HEHEHEHA”. Contact him at [email protected].
Ella Herr
Ella Herr, Photographer
Ella Herr is a senior, and this is her first year on the Clarion staff. She has been on the Math Team all four years at RB. She also participates in NHS, AST, Girls Who Code and Bowling Club. In her free time she enjoys listening to music, reading, and traveling. She is also a mac and cheese enthusiast.

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