This Maryland high school player profiles series is presented by the U.S. Army.
The Easton High School football team was nominated for the high school team and player profiles series by athletic director Kurisha Hoffman.
“The boys were dedicated to not only the program but to each other. They supported each other, celebrated individual successes and picked their teammates up when needed,” Hoffman said. “I couldn’t be more proud of being their athletic director and how this team represented our school throughout the season.”
Easton finished the shortened spring season a perfect 5-0, including defeating North Caroline for the first time since 2014. Easton won, 15-14, with a late fourth-quarter comeback. That ended North Caroline’s 23-game Bayside Conference winning streak and 35-game regular-season winning streak.
Head coach Patrick McGlinchey was at the helm for Easton during this historic season. Easton also had the Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year in the Bayside Conference — senior quarterback Ryan O’Connor and senior linebacker Jarin Winters, respectively.
McGlinchey, O’Connor and Winters answered a few questions about receiving this honor.
PressBox: What does it feel like to have your school recognize this team after the season you guys just had?
Jarin Winters: It’s really unexplainable. I’ve been on varsity for four years and I’ve put in the work. We’ve been recognized here and there, but this is really unexplainable. This is crazy.
PB: What was your team’s mentality like coming into the school year and how optimistic was everyone that a season would happen? How difficult was it to stay motivated through the uncertainty?
Patrick McGlinchey: That was the hardest thing, not knowing there would be a season at all. I had a lot of people tell me that they didn’t think it was going to happen. I said I believed it was going to happen. We have to will it into existence. Anytime anyone spoke to me about it, my perception was that we were going to have a season. Not only do we have to say it, but we have to prepare for it. Not once did I talk about there maybe being a season. It was always, “It’s going to happen.”
Ryan O’Connor: Watching everyone else play in neighboring states like Delaware and Pennsylvania, that was really hard just to not have it and watch other people do it. Personally for me, it made me more excited for the spring season, for the possibility of having one. I think for me and really our whole team, not having it and having to wait for it built up a lot of anticipation for the spring season. A lot of us believed we were going to get it.
Jarin Winters: It was so hard to stay motivated. I almost wanted to sweep everything under the rug and say, “Let’s just be done.” However, I had my teammates pushing me saying, “Hey, there’s a chance we could have a season. Let’s go to the gym, let’s go work out.” They kept me motivated, but it was hard for everyone to keep that motivation going.
PB: How did you react when the spring season was announced and what was it like getting back out on the football field in the spring?
Patrick McGlinchey: When it came out, it spread like wildfire on Twitter. Everyone was really excited that the Bayside announced there was going to be a season. It was really just a huge relief and the kids were just so stoked. They were exuberant.
The weather was exhausting and of our 20 practice days, we had just seven outside. The rest was in our indoor facility, our gymnasium. That part was really difficult. Dealing with the rain and the freezing cold temperatures was not the most pleasant thing, but they never complained about it, either.
PB: How do you think the team’s mentality changed as the season progressed?
Ryan O’Connor: Our first few practices were really sloppy for us, so we grew a lot throughout the season. Every game I think we got better and more confident. Honestly with only a five-game schedule, I don’t think we played a complete game and we still won every game, including a couple pretty handily. That really speaks to the potential we had and how far we could’ve gone. I believe that this would’ve been a state championship-caliber team.
Jarin Winters: With just two weeks of practice to prepare a number of players who hadn’t played on varsity before that started, we were nervous, but we weren’t scared about playing the season. We had no team chemistry starting out, but after our first game, a 21-7 win, we went from there and started building chemistry and momentum.
PB: What moments made this season special? What will you remember most about this season?
Patrick McGlinchey: This is my 18th season coaching football and fourth as a coach at Easton, and this team is probably the most special team I’ve ever coached. I have not seen a team where they’re so willing to help each other out and it wasn’t just on the field. It was in the classroom — the virtual classroom — as well. They’re just willing to fall on a sword for each other and that’s the thing I’m going to remember most about this season. They never gave up. They never quit on each other.
Ryan O’Connor: It was just fun to go out there and have the opportunity to play in front of our fans. In middle school, I would come to the games on Friday nights and that’s all I would think about. Just to be able to fulfill that dream I had to play in front of our town, that’s something I won’t forget. Beating North Caroline on that two-minute drive to end the game for the first time in six years, that was big.
To nominate an athlete or team for a future U.S. Army Player/Team Profile, visit PressBoxOnline.com/Impact.
Photo Credit: Scotty Bruce