By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
Here are a few of the things the McNary High School varsity football program accomplished this past season:
• The first winning record (6-5) for the team since 2008.
• The first time making it to the second round of the playoffs since 2008.
• The first time avoiding a play-in game since that component was added three years ago.
The season concluded with a loss to Central Catholic last week, but the program has shown the development and promise for a far better future than its had in recent years.
“I’m excited for the kids and proud of what they’ve done to turn this program around in these last two years. I’m happy for McNary and the Keizer community to have a football program that they can be excited about and proud of again, and the energy that the school and community brings just motivates me even more to continue to push this program to get better even more next year,” said Isaac Parker, McNary head coach.
Despite struggles throughout the season, the team started believing in itself after a too-long dry spell. Parker credited the team’s seniors with having helped revive the program.
“I hope they learned how to be competitors in life. We have a lot of things to celebrate immediately with this season, but I truly believe that this group will benefit mostly when they become husbands, fathers, and contributors to our society,” Parker said. “They have grown so much this year as men, that I’m hoping they understand that we weren’t just talking about football, but we were talking about life.”
While the Celts will lose a bevy of talent to graduation, the current McNary juniors proved themselves more than capable of filling in the gaps that open up.
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