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Going into their Friday night showdown with host Round Lake, the Proviso East football team had not won a game since the 2014 season. The night ended with the Pirates snapping their losing streak by beating the Round Lake Panthers 20-7.

According to a report in the Daily Herald, East had lost 35 straight games before their victory on Aug. 24, which increased Round Lake’s losing streak to eight games.

Round Lake coach Cristo Garza told the Daily Herald that the members of East’s football team “played their butts off. Hats off to Proviso. They’d been looking for that win, and good for them to get it.” Proviso East scored the game’s first touchdown.

The victory was particularly compelling considering it came under new coach Oliver Speller, who was hired earlier this year to replace former coach Dewan White, Sr.

Proviso East hosts Glenbard West on Aug. 31. Kickoff is 6 p.m.

–Michael Romain and Marty Farmer

The Pirates’ unconventional preparation

Proviso District 209 Student Reporters

Proviso East High School football players decided to toss in their cleats for a day or two to appreciate the finer things in life.

East football players recently visited the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. And the team is planning a trip to a museum in the Ukrainian Village later this month. These cultural excursions are part of a non-traditional team bonding experience.

Camaraderie is essential in football, according to Lead Assistant Coach Ricky McCoy. The players need to be “one and one with each other. If you don’t trust your brother, you are going to get hurt in football. We are trying to get the players in different situations,” said McCoy.

The entire team is also hoping to take part in a canoe trip down the Des Plaines River, called “Pirates on the River.” As of last month, approval was still needed for the excursion. The canoe trip would start in Maywood and head all the way down to Lisle. The purpose of the trip is to have a “one on one” with teammates, coaches said.

Leading the Pirates this year is Varsity Head Coach Oliver Speller, who won a high school state championship in Alabama.

The coaches added a couple of components to camp this year including new study habits and conditioning.

“We are going to have a legitimate football team that is going to compete in this conference. We need better grades and better conditioning,” said McCoy.

McCoy is hoping for 75 varsity players and total of about 300 players for the entire football program. This year at camp, the players focused on conditioning, strength, studying, having fun, being, competitive, and team bonding, said McCoy.

“If they take care of those things, the wins will come,” he said.