About the Author, Ella Hippel

I interviewed senior Ezra Criswell about getting hyped, why he wants to play fullback, and beating Lighthouse.

Ella: How long have you been playing football and how has it had an influence on your life?

Ezra: I’ve been playing football since I was five, so 12 years. This will be my seventh season for the Warriors. So since I was eleven. Because my dad’s a coach and my brother played it means that basically since I was like eight Warriors has been a fundamental part of our lives. It’s influenced me in all aspects of my life as far as growing up goes because I have friends who I’ve gone to school with who played, friends from church who’ve played, just hanging out people who’ve played. So in every part of my life there’s people from Warriors. A lot of the actual friendships that I have started with people who I met through the Warriors.

Ella: What’s the best play you’ve ever made?

Ezra: Last year in the semifinal game against Georgia Force there’s a play where I was running a one nine, so it’s a really deep route, and Joey had the football and he rolled out the other way and I was like, “oh shoot he’s not going to throw it to me but i’m really open”. Then Joey got pushed back the other way and he threw it to me and I ran it in for a touchdown. So that was really awesome.

Ella: If you could play any other position, what would it be and why?

Ezra: Probably fullback, just because every play you get to hit somebody and then every play where you’re not hitting somebody you’re getting the football. So you always have a job and your job is always important.

Ella: Do you have a pregame playlist, and if you do, what’s on it?

Ezra: I have two playlists that I listen to before every game. On the way to the game I listen to a rock playlist. It varies from more classic to modern stuff depending on what mood I’m in. Just kind of like my hype up music. Then once I’m actually in the locker room I listen to Cody Johnson so that it helps focus my mind. So it’s kind of like hype up and then focus. I think a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that it’s all about hyping up but there’s enough of that energy coming from one another when we’re getting ready. But there’s a time before the coaches start warming us up and start doing talks about like what kind of plays we’re going to be running, who we’re going up against that type of stuff where it’s just you and you have to just focus and mentally go through everything. That’s a huge part of the game and that’s how you get guys that listen to the stuff that calms them down and focuses them.

Ella: What are you looking forward to most this season?

Ezra: Beating Lighthouse. Because we’ve never beat them, we’ve lost to them three times in the past 2 years and I feel like it’s kind of a stumbling block in the team for the past 2 years. We’re like “oh we beat all these homeschool teams except for Lighthouse”. We lost to Georgia Force but we also beat them. We beat Tulsa Noah and they were supposed to be the best. But we’ve always lost to Lighthouse. I don’t want to end losing to Lighthouse.

Ella: After a game, where are you going out to eat and what are you ordering?

Ezra: Pizza. I’m always in the mood for pizza after football. I’ve told my mom this multiple times. I go, “Mom, I’m not picky I just want lots of it.”

Ella: Did you have any goals for spring ball and how did you work to accomplish them?

Ezra: There’s kind of two goals. One is the most obvious and it’s be the most dominant player that you can. The second one is after I caught the ball to actually be able to do something with the football. Like actually be able to make a play; which I wasn’t able to do much last year because I was a lot slower. I know I can catch the football but once I do I can actually be able to make a play. And I felt like I did all right with that.

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