SPARTA, NJ - The student section on Friday, November 15th was a bustle of red, white, and blue energy.  Students filed in the United States flag’s colors in honor of Veteran’s Day and the veterans that were in attendance, and to appear as a united front in their game against West Essex. 

The game was a semi-final on the road MetLife, but Sparta lost 48-28. This made it the last game of the year for the 2020 seniors. 

The students were rocked with emotion, especially the cheerleaders and football players who had just participated in their final game.

Sign Up for Sparta Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

According to Isabella Perry, a captain of the SHS cheer team, “Going in, we really didn’t know that it was the last game, but after halftime, we all kind of knew it was going to be our last and all we could do was give it our all for the rest of the game.” 

As a senior, she described the emotional support of cheer team as “one big family.”

“The hardest part,” according to Perry, “is walking away from people we have been cheering with since we were five years old. It is so hard to think that I will never do it again.”

Perry also described the worst part of the night as “seeing the football team walk off at the end. It meant the game was really over and that we had to leave the field, and close that chapter of our lives.”

Likewise, starting two-way player  Austin Castorina, admitted the hardest thing to walk away from is “playing in front of this town and being coached by Coach Marsh. I really wanted to get a ring for them.”

Castorina, running back and middle linebacker also added, “It is really sad I never get to wear that Spartan jersey again. I really thought it was the year but God had different plans for us for a reason.”

MetLife was the “only goal” on Castorina’s mind since freshman year. 

When reflecting upon what he has taken away most from his last four years as a football player, Castorina stated, “the bonds and friendships between my coaches and teammates.”