Bulldogs prepare for playoffs


Senior football players carry Seth Weismantle’s old jersey out to to center field to honor him before the coin toss.

Jalynn Falk, Staff Writer

As the Bulldogs approach the end of the regular season, they have officially made the playoffs and have the chance to win the conference championship. With the playoffs quickly approaching, the Bulldogs are more determined than ever to keep their winning record rolling as the regular season comes to a close.

In the Bulldogs’ game against the Valley Vikings on Sept. 28, senior Jake Pail led the team with 108 rushing yards and 77 receiving yards, for a total of 185 yards. Pail also had a combined three touchdowns for the night. Senior Zach Rosa also was a lead scorer, passing for 2 touchdowns and 83 passing yards. Points continued to add up for the Bulldogs, and it seemed as though they weren’t tired. The game ended in a score of 44-13 Bulldogs. Fans left with joy after Freedom took home another victory.

This win set the tone for the Bulldogs and allowed them to look forward to their next game against the New Brighton Lions. This season has been like no other for Freedom, in terms of their 7-1 record. The last time Freedom football has had a winning percentage this high was 1990, where they went 8-1-1. The last time that Freedom won a section title was 1977. This illustrates the importance of the season for the players, coaches and fans.

In the Bulldogs’ game against the New Brighton Lions on Oct. 5, the Bulldogs were filled with adrenaline. Moments before kickoff, the seniors carried Seth Weismantle’s jersey with them to centerfield for the captain meeting, to honor him after he passed away on Oct. 1. The stands were packed with Freedom Alumni, home to support the team, Weismantle and his family. Once the game started, the Bulldogs took an early lead. Senior Cody Ross led the team with 25 carries for 121 rushing yards. Rosa had a sum of 123 passing yards, resulting in two touchdowns for the Bulldogs. Rosa ended up breaking the record for career passing touchdowns, which was previously 31, held by Matt Brown in 2002.  

“It was really cool, I didn’t even realize I was that close [to breaking the record] going into the game. I just try to focus on the team first, but an individual honor like that is definitely special,” Rosa said.

In the Bulldogs’ homecoming game against Neshannock, Pail led the team with 16 carries for 115 rushing yards. Senior Noah Yeck led the Bulldogs’ in receiving yards with a total of 63 yards. On the defensive side, sophomore David Martsolf had a the most tackles with a sum of 10. Despite a fumble and an interception, the Bulldogs’ managed to come out with a win with a score of 28-7.

With the end in sight, and positive support from the community, the Bulldogs will be wrapping up the regular season and looking forward to the playoffs where Freedom will hold its first playoff game at home for the first time in school history. The team has remained optimistic throughout the rough patches of the season. The team is close to being number one in the section and playoff-bound.

One thing to take away from the Bulldogs’ success is the change in the way the team has performed compared to last year. Their record is better along with their overall attitude towards each other and the game. As playoffs begin to get closer, the team continues to put in the work at practice and games in order to grow.