Springfield International Charter School launches first varsity football team

It is the first-ever season for the varsity football team at Springfield International Charter School.
Published: Sep. 9, 2023 at 9:27 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - It is the first-ever season for the varsity football team at Springfield International Charter School.

“It feels good to be like the first to do something at this school. It’s never going to be able to be taken away from me or taken away from any other guys on our team,” said Springfield International Charter School senior Jaylen Lovejoy.

The Bulldogs at Springfield International Charter School are fired up because, for the first time in school history, a varsity football team is taking the field. Junior quarterback Nyrel Norris told Western Mass News he cannot wait to be a part of this new era.

“Sometimes when I think about it, I’m like, ‘Man, my first pass is going to be the first-ever pass for the school.’ It’s always going to be in the record books. It’s just kind of a surreal feeling sometimes,” Norris said.

Last year was the first one SICS had a football program, only having a team at the junior varsity level. Norris’s teammate, senior running back and safety Jaylen Lovejoy, was on that team and says as one of this squad’s leaders, he has lots of confidence.

“I want to prove the doubters, the haters…whatever they say we can’t do or what I can’t do, I always want to prove them wrong,” Lovejoy added. “It’s like I have a whole bunch of little brothers. They all love me. I love them, too.”

For at least the last couple of weeks, the players have been overcoming the hot temperatures and bonding as a team before taking on High School of Commerce in their first game. After being a defensive coordinator for the junior varsity team, Kashden Naraine was chosen to be the head coach for varsity.

So far, he likes what he sees.

“Our kids have stepped up. They understand that, ‘Hey, varsity level is a different level than JV’ but they’re ready to go and they’re ready for the challenge,” Naraine said.

A couple of key things the players want to take away from this inaugural season is they want to become not just better teammates, but also better men.

“No matter what job I want to be, I want to be the leader. I want to be the boss. I don’t want to just learn how to be able to construct people, teach people, and just look people up and have people have a better life,” Norris added.

“We’re going to get wins playing as hard as we are, but we just want to get better and have fun for it,” Lovejoy explained.

Win or lose, Naraine has one main expectation.

“Winning is great. We want to win. We’re going to win at some point. I just want these kids to be able to step up. We’re going to challenge them, but I want to make sure that they are ready to go when they leave out of these doors and to becoming great people in the community,” Naraine said.

All of the Bulldogs’ home games will be played on the turf field at American International College.