Bulldog Football: Despite Disappointment, Reason for Optimism


Although the Chelsea Football team failed to meet their high expectations for the 2022 season, the season was nothing short of meaningful. Despite losing thirty-six seniors the previous year and having only four players with solid experience in varsity minutes, the team showed nothing but perseverance and growth. 

“I think the bond of the team grew,” Jason Skoczylas (‘23) said. “At first it was segregated and people cared more about themselves, but towards the end, we started to build into a family and cared about each other and the team.”

Chelsea Football is consistently a selfless program. The team has an extremely tight bond which is a crucial reason why they are so successful. One of the ways the team gets brought together outside of football is their team meals.

“Team meals brought everybody closer together, especially towards the beginning of the season,” Gabe Anstead (‘23) said. “There are a lot of new people every year and you’re not always friends with everyone, but eating together helps.”

Coming off of a State Championship, the team had a target on their back. They knew that nothing would be given easily or handed to them. 

“We knew we had to fight through a lot of adversity,” Anstead said. “Losing a lot of seniors while also bringing on a lot of young kids, we definitely had to grind through and make every play count.” 

Knowing that nothing would come easy, the Bulldogs’ motto was “Earn It” for this season. 

“We knew nothing was going to be handed to us,” Skoczylas said. “People wanted more of a piece of us as defending state champs. We had to earn everything, every game, every play, everything we accomplished, and be independent from the previous season.”

Though the outcome of the season was unexpected, the memories that were made will be cherished for many years to come. Whether that be beating Pinckney at home, Moes Mondays, or being together in the summer, the team’s bond stood firm. 

“One of my favorite moments was definitely when we took ice baths after practices in the summer,” Braden Watson (‘23) said. “Seeing Seth [Anstead] and how he acts like a child when he’s in the cold.”

While losing a large group of seniors is tough, returning players are planning on an active offseason so they can accomplish the goals that they have in mind for their next season.

“This year was difficult because we were still trying to put the pieces together,” Seth Anstead (‘24) said. “We plan on getting back to where we were in previous years, dominating the league and winning districts and regionals, but nothing comes without hard work and determination.” 

The team is sure that working together and training hard in the off-season will prepare them for next fall.

“We’re going to bounce back and have a strong start to the upcoming season,” Regan Plank (‘24) said.Fortunately, we will have a lot of players with experience everywhere, so we can expect good things.” 

While the community can expect great things in upcoming seasons, saying goodbye to a group of dedicated and hardworking seniors is difficult. This year’s seniors played a big role and were mentors for the younger players. 

“You never know when it’s going to be your last play, so always play hard,” Anstead said. “There’s always going to be a last time walking out of the locker room, walking out of the tunnel, and seeing all the little kids playing on the grass that will be in your shoes one day. Give it your all because you can’t go back and do it again once it’s over.”