Us Against the World; Football players, coaches use motto to focus their season, reflect on competition ahead

Sameen Siddiqui, Reporter

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CHS and Trinity shake hands after the first game of the school year.
The strong defensive plays and cohesion helped the team win their game against Trinity
High School.

After the first CHS football game that the team competed in, a video created by senior Sam Kim and junior Ayman Bolad surfaced summarizing the game. In the video some of the players said the phrase ‘Us Against The World’ which, to safety and senior, Nate Frey and running-back and senior, Camari Hunt, have similar meanings.

“‘Us Against The World’ means that we’re going to come with everything we’ve got. We’re going to bring every play, every drive, every second of the game and it’s just us versus you guys. I feel pretty confident about this season. We’re looking pretty good so far, we just got to keep working hard,” Hunt said.

Varsity Defensive Line Coach Sidney Swartzendruber said his take on the meaning for this motto is that the team has to worry about what they’re doing and not what everyone else is doing.

“I don’t know if that’s the same take the players have, but that’s the way I approach that. It’s about us and the way we prepare and what we’re prepared to do for the next opponent, not necessarily what they’re going to do to us. We have to have that mentality that we’ve got to fix what we’re trying to do first before anything else,” he said.

Frey said he created a group chat earlier in the season because no one was talking about how well CHS’s offense and defense were doing. He said the group chat is a sleeping face emoji with a ring representing CHS getting slept on, which is what he said ‘Us Against the World’ means.

“I think other teams view Carmel, like how we view Center Grove- not as athletic as every team, but they just play differently than all the other MIC teams. We focus on specific skills whereas other teams are so athletic that they can just focus on big plays and all that stuff they do,” Frey said. “I believe that playing for Carmel is different than playing for any other team in Indiana because I just feel like our team is more dedicated than a lot of others. Like last year we weren’t really the best team, but when we lost against Penn (High School) we all felt like a breakup because it was pretty sad. A lot of people were crying. I just feel like because of how dedicated we were, that’s why it felt like that.”

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The CHS football team prepares to take the field before their game against Trinity High School. Hunt said the football team used the moments just before game to get excited and mentally prepared for the upcoming game.

Swartzendruber said the team does a good job of not getting ahead of themselves and focusing on State this early in the season. He said that from his experience coaching, there are always going to be “ups and downs” to a season, but the team always finds a way to be successful by the time playoffs start, which he said is the big goal that the team is focusing on.

“I think (the team) does a really good job of taking everything one day at a time and one game at a time. That’s been a philosophy that’s worked for us. I know Coach (John)Hebert preaches that daily. It’s not difficult for that to translate throughout the staff; they all do a really good job at focusing at one day and one game at a time…I think this group really has a lot of the pieces that we need, but we are in no way ready to win the state championship (right now). I think that’s something that takes nine weeks and it takes through the playoffs. We’re able to keep our focus on what’s right in front of us rather than Thanksgiving weekend,” he said.

Frey said that playing for CHS has a big legacy attached to it. He said that everyone expects the players to either be playing in State or making it to Semi-State, which he said he uses for inspiration.

“I stay focused just by thinking like ‘I got one team in front of me and I’m not going to State this week. I’ve got to focus and be prepared for this team, no other team than that,’” he said.

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Senior Ryan Tilev and junior Cole Brevard finish off an attack on the Trinity High School quarterback.

Swartzendruber and Hunt both said they agree that there are not many similarities between the 2016 CHS football team versus the present team. Swartzendruber said he has seen many state champion teams dating back to 2007, and that each one of them have been very different. Frey said there were a lot of returning starters coming back on defense from the 2016 team.

“Now it’s going to be interesting to see how it turns out, but I feel like everyone knows that the defense sets the tone for the team, just how the offense did in 2016,” Frey said.

Hunt and Frey both said thy agree that the team is like a brotherhood. Hunt said the team does well because of that, and because the players are smart and fast.

“People in the Carmel community expect a lot from Carmel kids,” Hunt said, “so we just do what we do best and play hard.”