MORRIS — The Morris football team will be playing for pride Friday night when they host LaSalle-Peru to finish the season.
Last week, the Redskins were eliminated from playoff contention with a 50-14 loss to Kaneland, dropping their record to 3-5. But that doesn't mean that the season is over.
"This is definitely not a familiar feeling around here," Morris coach Alan Thorson said. "It feels weird to not be getting ready for the playoffs, but there is still a lot of pride to play for.
"It will be Senior Night, since we had to cancel the Senior Night we had planned for the Washington game. For these seniors, it's their last chance to play on their home field in front of their hometown fans. We really want them to go out with a win."
The seniors on the Morris roster include Austin Hatcher, Mitchell Mayberry, Austin Hastings, Ryan Lain, Alex Cameron, Jacob Overbeck, Devin Narwick, Nathan Sendra, Aidan Connor, Chatten Dryfhout, Dakota Revels, Andrew Barlow, Tyler Petty, Logan Edwards, Tony Whitmarsh, Kade Kjellesvik, R.J. Roderick, Dany Garcia, Matt Claypool, Kyle Little, Dylan Swartz, Aiden Lawyer, Juan Solano, Rocci Iasillo, Bradly Nicholson, and Lukas Larsen.
While the game will be the last time on the field for the seniors, Thorson will not forget about the juniors on the team. He says he will be viewing this game as a sort of tryout for the current juniors, watching to see how they play knowing that the season is about to end.
"These young guys, they can send a message for next year," Thorson said. "It's a tough situation, but those that want to play next year and be leaders, they will show us that in this game."
The Redskins will be playing a LaSalle-Peru team that is in the same position as they are, as the Cavaliers will enter the game with a 3-5 record. They have lost their last four by a combined score of 178-60 after starting the season 3-1. The two teams will both be members of the Interstate Eight Conference next year, along with Sandwich, Plano, Ottawa, Manteno, Kaneland and Sycamore.
"The team on the other side is going to be playing for pride, just like we are," Thorson said. "We still have to go out there and give everything we have.
"For our seniors, this is it for their high school career. Some of them were up on the varsity when they were sophomores and we made the semifinals, then they were in the title game last year as juniors. They have been a big part of our prograrm and they have had a successful career. We certainly didn't want it to end this way for them, by not making the playoffs, but they can go out with a win in their last game. Not a lot of kids get to do that."