Honda Athlete of the Week

Honda Athletes of the Week: Fairmont Senior Defense

Polar Bears held Miners to 6 points in semifinals


Fairmont Senior’s season ended last year at the Super Six, when Mingo Central hung 32 points on the Polar Bear defense.


Nobody has done that since.


In fact, the Polar Bears have held their first three playoff opponents to a combined 26 points. They even got revenge on the Miners, knocking them off 35-6 in the semifinals, thanks in part to two huge goal line stands.


“There’s different games where we’ve had to make different red zone stops, different times where we’ve made adjustments in second halves, and our guys are always able to do that," said first-year head coach Nick Bartic. "We’ve put together some really good defensive performances as a result.” 


Then in the second half, the defense provided another game changing play. Senior Bryson Gilbert put his athleticism on display with an electrifying interception.


“Bryson’s pick-six, man, it made it a two-score game and really put the pressure on them,” said Bartic.


Added senior defensive lineman Dante Stills: “That play just set the whole game off. That play kind of made us win. It made us excited and pumped up.”


Now the Polar Bears are faced with a mammoth task – they have to find a way to stop unbeaten Bluefield’s dominant offense. But they’re also taking time this week to relish their accomplishment – returning to the Super Six.




“We all got the same motivation to get back where we [were], and we all want a different outcome," said Gilbert. “Beating a team that last year, we should have beat, and didn’t, it felt great to come out on top of them.”  


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