• Sydney Noorman

Varsity Football Brings Home the Paddle for Fourth Consecutive Year

In the annual Battle of the Bayou, Spring Lake vs Fruitport fight for the paddle. The Lakers are 3-0 right now, blowing out any team that comes their way. The team is strong offensively and defensively, making every win worth every second to watch. The game is this Friday and Spring Lake is the current winner for the past 3 years in a row. The Fruitport Trojans 1-2, winning one and losing two. Will the Lakers win it this year making them 4 consecutive year champions?

The teacher and Offensive Coordinator Kyle Jewett as well as Head Coach and teacher Dan Start shared some insights on the big game, Friday the 17th, on why it is so important to the school. The question asked was, “Why do you believe the Battle of The Bayou is such an important event to the students and players, and overall Spring Lake?” and, “What do you believe leaves the greatest impact for your players in their future football careers from this game?” Jewett states, “Whenever the competitive stage is set for neighboring rivals like this, everyone in the community can get involved. From player to fan, young and old, there is something to take away for everyone. This is what high school sports are all about. Community. Highly emotional rivalry games are valuable for a players' mental and emotional development. They form calluses on a player's psyche in the same way hard manual labor forms calluses on your hands. After games like these, after being mentally battle-tested, they can handle the next high-stress situation with greater ease.”

Start says, “I think it is great to have a rival like Fruitport to bring out the absolute best in our student-athletes. Between the fundraising leading up to the game and the game on Friday night, the Battle of the Bayou is a great example of two towns exhibiting what is great about high school athletics. As players graduate and get older, the memories of individual games will start to fade and blur, but games like this are the ones that remain vivid and crystal clear for decades because of the rivalry and everything that goes along with the Battle of the Bayou. They will remember and reminisce about these battles for decades when they see each other beyond high school which speaks to how special a game like this is.” Varsity Wide Receiver and Safety Derrick Paggeot says, “I believe that the battle of the bayou is so important to students because it's been passed down for so many years and people in the community have been watching the games forever.” The students play a big role in getting the crowd excited for the boys and the school. Hunter Throop, Defensive Tackle and Right Guard, says, “Battle of the Bayou is an important game because it doesn't matter the records of either team, everyone always brings their ‘A’ game and it's overall just a really fun game to play.”

Hearing points of views from the coaches and players we have an understanding that this game is so memorable because of the rivalry that it brings. We wished the boys the best of luck for the big game and brought home the paddle home once again! The final score of the game was 35-32 in a nail-biter, but with the Lakers ultimately finishing on top.

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