The Athens Drive football team bleeds blue not red

      Before every game, after every game. Before every practice, after every practice. During a trivial moment, during an achieving moment. The quote that always rings out from the team is:

“Bleed blue!”

Varsity football players at Athens Drive listen to instructions for a drill at practice. (Photos by Leah Slates)

While other students were off relaxing during their summer breaks, the Athens Drive High School football team woke up early almost every morning and practiced for several hours a day, determined to improve for a successful season. 

That dedication is what earned the football team their success, the coaches respect and the pride of the student body all contributed. 

“The guys are learning their responsibilities and how to do their job, and all that has gotten tremendously better since the beginning of the season,” said Coach Wetherby, football coach at Athens Drive high school. 

The game scores from last year compared to the scores this year have ameliorated. The team played their rival, Cary High School, on Sept. 1, 2022.


At this game, the team fought a tiresome battle that ended with Athens Drive bringing home the win, the score was 20 to 14. Those watching the game could hear the coaches hollering loudly to each other through their headsets with excitement that all the practice and hard work had paid off. 

At Athens Drive, there are two football fields. One for practicing and one for games. Seen here, players are running across the practice field. (Photos by Leah Slates)

“My favorite memory? Probably winning against Cary. The excitement our players had at the end of the game was amazing. These guys worked really hard…I was excited for everybody to get that win against our rival,” said Coach Smith, head football coach at Athens Drive High School.

They win as a team and they lose as a team. If a player forgets to bring all their equipment to practice, the whole team gets punished. If someone has shown improvement, they celebrate together. 

“You need to understand how you have to fulfill your obligations so that everyone can succeed… This season is challenging everyone to dig deeper for the good of the team,” said Coach Pyper, assistant football coach at Athens Drive. 

Eagerly lined up next to and across from each other, players at practice wait to start their next drill. (Photos by Leah Slates)




The football team is like a family; there are roadblocks and challenges in every family. Most schools have a football team that is larger than the Athens Drive football team. Sometimes the other teams can be as much as double the size. This means that during games, there are fewer people on the sidelines which has led to the players having to pick up the slack for the absence of subs.

“We face teams that have 60 guys on the sideline and we have maybe 15, and we have guys that are playing entire reps of the game,” said Coach Smith.

Coach Cam, a football coach at Athens Drive, went from being a football player for the school to being a football coach for the school. He has watched old players graduate and move on and he has also seen new players come in and replace their spots. He went through this process himself, which was difficult to endure. 

“The most difficult memory for me was giving up the jerseys that I used to wear when I played here,” said Coach Cam.

Gathered together around their head coach, Athens Drive football players take a knee at the end of every practice. (Photos by Leah Slates)

Despite the bumps in the road being onerous, the team continues to grow together with the coaches by their side. The coaches believe they have a major season ahead of them, a season that is full of long nights, painful practices, soreness, loud screaming, cheering, excitement, memories and brotherhood that the coaches and players will hold with them for a lifetime.

“The rest of the season is going to be very bright. We are about to string together a lot of wins and start embracing winning,” said Coach Young, assistant football coach at Athens Drive high school.