PONTIAC, Mich. – An Oakland County high school football team is celebrating the end of a five-year losing streak.
Before their season opener Friday (Aug. 25), the Pontiac Phoenix hadn’t won a game since 2018, but they made history against Bishop Foley High School.
“It was very exciting from beginning to end,” said Pontiac City Schools Athletic Director Craig Covington. “We started the game off with an interception for a touchdown. Then it was all uphill from there.”
The Phoenix defeated Bishop Foley’s football team 52 to 22, their first win in years.
“I can’t explain it,” said Gabriella Alex-Orza. “It was like a sense of accomplishment, a good sense of accomplishment, and it was like a dream, really. It was like a blur.”
The team celebrated with chicken wings and pizza.
“It was awesome for me to be able to win,” said Carter Leatherwood.
Despite loss after loss, the players never took the scoreboard to heart.
“I took a knee at the end of the game,” said Khanye Donaldson. “I was happy like I am ready to do that some more, you know, get more wins.”
So far, Wendell Jefferson has a winning record as head coach of the Phoenix, as the 2023 season is his first with the team.
“I was feeling pretty good about the team because of the work they put in,” said Jefferson.
The team plans to keep the momentum going for the rest of the season and show that they are a force to be reckoned with.
“We got everyone’s attention,” Jefferson said. “And so now we have to make sure we do what we need to do because they are going to come after us.”
Alex-Orza said the team is ready for the challenges ahead.
“That win doesn’t mean anything if we just lose the next game,” Alex-Orza said. “We have to keep winning.”