McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

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MCHS alum and Chicago Bears player Robert Tonyan cheered on the varsity football team from the sideline during their first home game of the season
Chicago Bear and MCHS alum Robert Tonyan poses for pics on the sideline during the varsity football game against Huntley on Sept. 1 at McCracken Field.

The first home game. The first time many fans are seeing the team play. The first time the dance team and marching band performs. The first time the team hears the support of a larger showing of Warrior Nation fans. The first home game is an opportunity to showcase MCHS’s talent and spirit. 

Friday Night Lights are back at MCHS, with the Warriors’ first home game being hosted last Friday at McCracken Field against Huntley. 

The Warriors faced a tough 35-6 loss to the Raiders but overall showed improvement from their week 1 loss to Hampshire and the team is optimistic about the rest of their season.

There were many pregame festivities which welcomed alum Robert Tonyan back onto McCracken Field for the first time since the field was converted to turf, and he was honored and welcomed back to MCHS before he starts his season with the Chicago Bears. 

Tonyan, who was welcomed back by former coaches and football players from all levels, explained how being on the field brought back a lot of good memories from his time playing for MCHS.

“It feels good. The turf looks nice and the orange looks great,” Tonyan said. “I didn’t get a lot of orange in my jersey when I was there, so now it looks amazing. It does bring back some memories to see the stands full and all the people screaming … It brings back good memories.”

Tonyan also explained how he enjoyed the overall atmosphere of the game despite the loss, and how the culture of the school itself allows for our team to build and develop off of it.

“Obviously it’s not the outcome you guys want,” he said. “[The varsity team has] got a lot of young guys so you know, just seeing them playing, getting football under their belts, it’s gonna build from there.”

Despite the loss, MCHS’s student section, which wore neon colors, kept the energy positive.  People around MCHS are optimistic about the future of the Warriors due to the young core established around it. 

Jeffery Schroeder, junior dean of students and head varsity football coach, felt that the game showed progress compared to week one with some successes he saw on the field.

“Obviously, as a competitor, you always want to win,” Schroeder said. “But our system is new to the guys and we’re still in a building phase. I thought we competed well for the vast majority of the game and we’re hoping to take another step going forward this week [against] Cary-Grove.”

Schroeder also emphasized the importance of gaining game experience to be successful throughout the course of the season, as well as being fundamentally sound to be successful on the field.

“I think improvements will revolve around gaining game experience,” he said. “Also, continuing to learn our option offense. It’s a very difficult offense to master, but once you do it can be very explosive. Defensively I would say the same.  We have a very proven scheme and just need to continue to develop fundamentally.“

The Warriors are looking to improve as they head into Week 3 against Cary-Grove, as they are in a building stage for the future and are still learning under Schroeder who is in his first year at MCHS as head football coach. Following the pre-game activities, new Athletic Director Chris Madson saw a lot of positives during the game, and was very optimistic about the future of the team and the possible growth they could see.

“I definitely look forward to the rest of the football season,” Madson explained, “and am hopeful and optimistic as I watch not only our football team grow, develop, and improve, but also the town and communities support for our football team and other athletic programs throughout the school year.” 

Madson overall enjoyed the night, and is happy with the turnout and the atmosphere the game provided.

The first home game of the year brought an excellent atmosphere,” he said. “The community, fans and student-body showed up in great numbers and did a fantastic job demonstrating a lot of pride and support for McHenry High School athletics.”

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