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The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

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April 21, 2024

Victory at last: After four years, Whitman football snaps losing streak

It+took+several+years+and+multiple+head+coaches%2C+but+the+losing+streak+has+ended.+The+Vikes+will+host+the+Walter+Johnson+Wildcats+%282-0%29%2C+their+longtime+rivals%2C+next+Thursday+at+7%3A00+pm.+For+the+first+time+in+four+years%2C+the+Vikings+will+look+to+win+back-to-back+football+games.
Heidi Thalman
It took several years and multiple head coaches, but the losing streak has ended. The Vikes will host the Walter Johnson Wildcats (2-0), their longtime rivals, next Thursday at 7:00 pm. For the first time in four years, the Vikings will look to win back-to-back football games.

As the final seconds ticked off on the scoreboard, the Vikings accomplished something they hadn’t done in four years. They won a football game, and Sean Pierce won his first game as head coach of the Vikings.

“It means a lot to me, but [it] feels better that our players were able to have their hard work paid off with a W,” Pierce said. “We’ve been on the grind since I stepped foot in the building for the first workout February 28, 2022.”

It took several years and multiple head coaches, but the losing streak has ended. Hopes were high when the Vikings (1-1) visited the Northwood Gladiators (0-2) on Friday. Unfortunately, the game was postponed due to a severe weather warning shortly after the Vikes took a commanding 13-0 lead. After the first quarter, officials announced that the game would continue at 10:30 am on Saturday. The Vikes finally ended the 22-game losing streak under the early morning sun, beating Northwood 50-0. 

Senior Jacob Gaum had a great game, registering a pick-six, and junior defensive back Derrick Goodman recorded the first interception of his varsity career. 

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“I had a lot of faith in the team and believed we could get the win,” Goodman said. “The job isn’t finished and I believe we can get more wins in the future.”

The last time the Vikings won a football game was November 2019, when they defeated the Gaithersburg Trojans 35–7.

The student body has long-awaited a win; the 2024 seniors hadn’t even entered high school when Whitman last won a game. When Pierce took over the football program after the 2021 season, his goal was to make wins more consistent, he said. 

“[We are] going to establish a tough, yet different mindset that’ll permeate throughout the program and result in winning football games,” Pierce said.  

This tactic started to work last season as Whitman’s games slowly became more competitive. However, they often fell slightly short, especially on September 16, when the Vikings lost to the Einstein Titans by only two points. Many thought the losing streak would end last year, but Whitman ended the season 0-10. 

“[We had to teach] the players how to finish,” Pierce said. “Staying focused in the moment and not letting yourself waver. The goal in any game is to win; when you put yourself in a position to win you have to finish.”

Although last year’s record was dismal, the Vikes only got shut out in two outings: once against Quince Orchard, the No.1 team in Maryland, and a second time against Walter Johnson. This year, the football team moved down to a division, giving them an easier schedule. Although the win was exciting for the Whitman players and coaches, they have to keep working to prepare for the home opener, Pierce said. 

“One win doesn’t define us,” Pierce said. “I want the players to not only enjoy this win, but remember the feeling of winning so they can keep chasing success.”

The Vikes will host the Walter Johnson Wildcats (2-0), their longtime rivals, next Thursday at 7:00 pm. For the first time in four years, the Vikings will look to win back-to-back football games.



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About the Contributors
Ben Belford-Peltzman, Sports Writer
Grade 11 Why did you join the Black and White?  I love writing and podcasting about the latest sports news in our community.
What is your favorite song of all time?
Call Me Maybe
 
Heidi Thalman
Heidi Thalman, Photo Director
Grade 12 Why did you join the Black and White? to strengthen my photojournalism skills and document my surrounding community. What is your favorite board game? Clue

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