With only 13 players, this Delaware high school still won last weekend
Glasgow High sophomore Lockwood Brooks has played organized football since he was 5.
He’s won games and lost games.
But last Saturday’s 24-20 Glasgow win stands out.
“It was the best one,” Brooks said before practice Wednesday. “We did the impossible with minimum players.”
Thirteen players to be exact.
“Probably the biggest win ever,” Glasgow coach Ernest Cunningham said, looking back on his 20-plus years in coaching.
The odds were against Glasgow in their matchup with McKean at Randy White Stadium because injuries and other factors had trimmed an already small roster down to 13 players, meaning just about everyone was playing both ways, some at unfamiliar positions.
That included Brooks, who usually runs with the football.
This time, he was snapping it because Glasgow needed a center.
Likewise, wide receiver Jason Avenarius moved a few feet inside and played left tackle, concentrating on protecting his quarterback and paving a way for those carrying the football rather than catching it himself.
“That was my first time playing O-line,” said the senior, who first played football as a Glasgow freshman. “It was a different experience but I knew I had to step up for my team. I just had that mentality. If you need me, I’m gonna play it and I’m gonna play my heart out over there.”
The victory raised Glasgow’s record to 2-2 just in time for Saturday’s noon home showdown with Christina School District rival Newark (2-1).
“We left it all on the field,” Avenarius said.
The Dragons were slightly replenished Wednesday, with 18 players in uniform and practicing.
Glasgow, like many schools, is struggling to attract large numbers of players for football, a problem exacerbated by COVID-19 and most learning being done virtually at home. With the first marking period ending, many schools, Glasgow included, are losing a few players who haven’t been able to keep their grades up and stay eligible. Remote learning has made that more common.
McKean only had 22 players itself for Saturday’s game against Glasgow and has had to forfeit this week’s matchup with Howard. When preseason camp belatedly began in October, Glasgow had 33 players.
“Football is not for everybody,” Cunningham said of some players deciding not to stick it out.
Glasgow’s players arrived at practice Wednesday in cars with their shoulder pads in tow as school locker rooms are not being used.
“It’s not just football, it’s all of our sports,” said Glasgow athletic director Robert Peterson, a former Delcastle High football player. “The numbers are short. But the kids are having fun. That’s why we do what we do. No matter the record, it’s important we’re letting them play.’’
Cunningham said Glasgow was better off on defense, where players were in familiar positions, including Brooks at linebacker and Avenarius at defensive end, even though its depth was compromised.
Quarterback and safety Aarick Brown said it was odd looking toward the sidelines and seeing coaches but hardly any teammates. But the Dragons never doubted they could win.
“That’s just how we are,” the junior said. “Glasgow’s got heart. We always go in with a winning mentality. It was definitely weird but we had each other’s back so we knew we were going to be all right.
“Playing tough and sticking together as a family, that was the impressive part. Winning with that many people, that was good.”
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