Indians fall in regional quarterfinals
The Southampton High School varsity football team’s 2021 season came to an end Friday, Nov. 12, but it came to an end in a place the Indians always want to find themselves in late fall — the playoffs.
The No. 7-seeded Indians faced No. 2 York High School (9-1) in the Region 3A quarterfinals at Bailey Field in Yorktown and experienced some successes but ultimately returned home with a 21-6 loss.
“The players had a very good week of practice and performed well on Friday night,” Southampton Head Coach Travis Parker said Monday. “Our defense did its job by holding York to 21 points, which was (the Falcons’) season low. We also had success on the offensive side of the ball. Even though we didn’t put enough points on the board to win the war, we did win a number of small battles. Our special teams was sound as well.
“We, the coaching staff, had a very good game plan to win the game, but we, as a Southampton football family, came up short,” he continued. “This playoff game versus a very good York team gives us tremendous momentum going into the offseason. We have a number of very talented freshmen, sophomores and juniors returning next season. The coaches and players are excited about the future of Southampton football, and we intend to live in the playoffs year after year after year.”
Including Friday’s playoff game, the Indians finished the season with an overall record of 6-4.
“We were very close to being 8-1 because two of the losses during the regular season were by a total of three points,” Parker said.
He noted that he will remember the 2021 Southampton football team as resilient.
“And I will remember the season as the continuation of another era of having Southampton in the postseason year in and year out,” he said.
Many of this year’s seniors were sophomores when Parker became head coach in 2019, and many of them were starters that year, he said.
“They are very special to me, and six of them have very serious aspirations of playing college football,” he said. “The coaching staff and school academic staff will be working very hard together to make this a reality for them, so stay tuned.”
Referring to Southampton’s football program, Parker said the 2021 Big Red Machine was 43 players deep at the varsity level and 33 players deep at the junior varsity level.
“This is the first year that we, the coaching staff, have been able to have offseason workouts with the players to prepare for the season,” he said. “I am happy with the improvement of the team from week to week of the season in all four phases of the game — offense, defense, special teams and coaching.”
The Indians faced a special challenge this season when it came to continuity and building momentum. They were not able to play back-to-back weeks until the latter half of the season.
“During the first half of the season, we only played every other week because, mostly, of COVID reasons,” he said. “It was hard to get into a rhythm, but our team was resilient.”
Parker said Southampton players managed to stay the course and concentrate on the things that they could control.
“This 2021 football team has built momentum that will build from here on out,” he said.