HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - At the beginning of every season, teams will get together to talk about goals for success.
The Holyoke High School football team is no different.
“Defensively, like every three and out, that gives our offense an opportunity to go down the field and score the ball," Holyoke student-athlete Kevin Jourdain tells us.
And depending on how the season goes, sometimes, these goals change.
“If we’re down, we haven’t really quit a game. We’ve gone against some really good teams, you know? Sometimes, we shoot ourselves in the foot. It happens to any young team, but we just keep going," Holyoke student-athlete Gabriel Fernandez stated.
Gabriel Fernandez and Kevin Jourdain are two of Holyoke's captains this year.
These two are being held accountable for not only playing their best as starters, but also to keep an eye out for everyone else, and while many believe leaders of a team need to be vocal, Head Coach Joe Dutsar saw something else in one of his captains.
“I’m not the loudest guy, but once the game starts going, I try to make a big play and that just gets everyone into the game, and that just gets the whole game rolling," continued Jourdain.
While keeping the team-first mindset every time the Knights take the field, a couple of these leaders say attaining their personal goals is just as important.
Jourdain is a junior, who already has a couple of college offers under his belt.
He tells Western Mass News the first call this past Summer meant everything to him.
“I had the phone like right here and once it hit seven, and he called me, because I can’t call him, but he called me and I was like, 'Wow. An offer', and that meant a lot to me at the time, because no one else had offered me then and I was like, 'Wow. I can play college football'," explained Jourdain.
And Jourdain isn’t the only one making his dreams come true.
Starting quarterback Gabriel Fernandez says he has been checking off the boxes off of his list as well.
“I’ve only started like a year and a half basically, and every year, I feel like I’ve improved and I’ve learned about defensive coverages more, and be able to go against them and break them a part," says Fernandez.
And both captains tell Western Mass News there’s a whole lot more they need to do.
“I just try to get A’s and B’s in those classes, and to get a good SAT score once I take it. I haven’t taken it yet and then probably, like, double-digit sacks for, like, football," said Jourdain.
“I want to try and break 2,000 passing yards this year and then hopefully I’ll get a scholarship, or at least get looked at and be able to play at the next level," added Fernandez.
As they look ahead to future goals, the captains both agree it's most important to focus on one game at a time.