Story by Justin Kundrat, Photo by Michelle Kundrat
As great as it is for the schools around the city of Thunder Bay that have a winning tradition in football, there is one school that continues to play regardless of their outcome or fate. Overcoming the considerable odds against them in terms of player size and numbers, Superior Collegiate and Vocational Institute’s Gryphons successfully fielded a team for the entire 2015 football season. With little regard to quitting or giving up—when everyone else assumed they would—they sure as heck didn’t listen and kept on keeping on.
This year was my third playing high school football for Superior and we are continually building up the program. When I was in grade nine, we only had one varsity team due to low numbers. It was tough, but my veteran teammates always told me to never give up on this program. In grade ten, we only had a junior team again due to low numbers. Now in grade 11,we have a senior team with only 16 players, and are fortunate to have a team thanks to the commitment of our coaches. With 10-12 players at practices everyday, everyone works extremely hard, and I truly believe we are one of the hardest working teams—we will not give up.
When our coach, Lisa MacLeod, told us we not have enough players to play the last game earlier this week, we all said we had to play no matter what and finish the season. It’s all about the passion of the game, willpower, hard work, and supporting each other that gets us through each week regardless of what is thrown at us on and off the field. We play clean, respect our opponents, are highly dedicated, and have a lot of potential. Finishing the season made us one of the toughest teams.
I personally have gained so much more from this year because of all we have had to endure and rise above. Our team is disciplined and know that working hard is mandatory if you want something bad enough. We will continue to play our hearts out and, in my view, that is what makes a championship team.
-Justin Kundrat is a quarterback and the Gryphon’s team captain;having just wrapped up the 2015 high school football season, he is already looking forward to next year.