Kickin’ Off FNL


A TROGAN WIN: Johnson holds up a number two on his hand.

With packed stands and bright lights, Carstens field made the return of Friday night football and the usual annual traditions. “The energy was unmatched, you can just see how excited everyone is to be back,” senior N-zone leader Will Ruddy said. 

After last year’s socially distanced crowds, students were able to make their way to the stands and on the field without caution for masks or social distancing. The football team, student section, band, Athenas and cheerleaders all lived in the moment.  

 DGN beat Hoffman Estates in a close game finishing off 24-21. Senior Brooks Johnson is no stranger to finding the end zone after starting off each of the last two seasons with an 85 yard kickoff return. With the stands packed with fans, Johnson flashed a two on his hand referencing his previous touchdown. 

“I’ve never been on the field with a crowd like that,” Johnson said. It’s sick to look towards the sideline and see hundreds of people celebrating with you.”

The south side of the bleachers is where you can find the student section and see Ruddy leading the crowd in spirit chants and even being held by students as he reps out pushups matching the number of total points scored by the Trojans. 

Since the crowd’s energy was so strong, students received an email from the student activities director, Mark Mirandola Sept 2 reading, “Last week, we had the biggest, most energetic student section in my 15 years at North.” 

Head football coach Joe Horeni showed his excitement for the return of events saying, “I love the atmosphere after a win, but I think being smart about COVID while still doing it on the field is neat and it is just nice to see everything that is normal on a Friday night.”

The band set the bar high for their return during their halftime performance with the drumline later  playing their fan-favorite cadences to hype up the student section. With half of the band being brand new to their Friday night traditions, the band director Jessen Smith knew there would be first game jitters. 

“I think there were some general nerves coming into the first game after not having done it for over a year, but once we were there, all the upperclassmen remembered how to do this thing. I think everyone is really pumped to do it again,” Smith said. 

Although everyone enjoyed the fun, there were piles of candy, noise makers, spirit sticks, and trash made by the student section after the event that left the football team with a 25 minute clean up.

 “The team had fun with it, but I feel it could’ve been avoided,” junior Danny Greifhahn said. 

Coach Horeni tweeted a picture saying, “Thanks to some of our players for helping clean up the bleachers after a great win last night!