Senior tries not to think about not playing football

Jacob Baer runs a drill in front of Bobcat football coach Quinn Ewell at practice Monday. Baer will play his last game Thursday. (Garrett Estrada photo)

Jacob Baer runs a drill in front of Bobcat football coach Quinn Ewell at practice Monday. Baer will play his last game Thursday. (Garrett Estrada photo)

With White Pine High School playing its final football game of the season on Thursday against Agassi Prep, it’s a bittersweet moment for the Bobcat seniors. For Jacob Baer, who spent all of his four high school years on the football team, the finality of his last game as a Bobcat is one he is trying to put off.

“It hasn’t quite set in yet but by the time that happens, it is going to hit hard,” Baer said.

Having spent this season as a running back and a variety of different positions on defense, Baer admits he knows he isn’t going to get to play in college, so Thursday’s home game will most likely be his last. Looking back on the season, he said he feels like he could have done more for his team to help them win games, but he hopes the things he passed on to the younger players will help keep the program headed in the right direction long after him.

“As a senior, you realize that you could have put more into it. I know I could have. I think every senior wants the younger guys to realize that and help them develop their talents,” Baer said.

Bobcat coach Quinn Ewell said after last week’s 51-16 road loss to Mountain View Christian, the coaching staff is going to keep the intensity up in practices. Ewell said he was happy with how the first half of the game against the Saints went, as both teams traded scores, but he said the team didn’t produce the same effort in the second half.

“In the first half, it looked like it was going to be a scoring battle,” Ewell said, whose team scored a touchdown on a “flea flicker” trick play on their third offensive series. “But then all of a sudden in the second half, they stopped executing and put their heads down. That was the disappointment for me was that they didn’t keep up the momentum.”

The coach shouldered the blame for the team’s lesser second-half effort, saying he needed to keep the players more on-point during practices, hence the heightened intensity going into the last game of the season. The Bobcats practiced defending against Agassi’s solid run game, with coaches working with defensive backs to try and get them comfortable with identifying where the running lanes on the field will be.

For the Bobcats, the game will give the team a chance to generate optimism about the program that is still turning things around from last year’s winless season. For Baer and the rest of the seniors, the game will let them play the game the love one last time together as a team

“I love football. I wish I could keep playing after this but it will be fun. It’s been an emotional season for sure,” Baer said.

The Bobcat will face off against Agassi Prep Thursday at home at 7 p.m.

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