“Football is a depiction of life. There’s gonna be wins, there’s gonna be losses. How you respond to losses shapes your life more than how you respond to wins.”
In the moments after the Westinghouse Bulldogs concluded their best season in school history with a 37-22 loss in the 2A State Championship Game, head coach Donta Green described the loss as a life lesson, another step in a road just beginning.
Bulldogs’ alumni, parents and other community members clustered near the field, lifting the players up with messages of support. ‘We’re so proud of you,’ ‘keep your head up,’ ‘you made it so far.’
Starting quarterback Keyshawn Morsillo took a moment to recognize the fans who backed the Bulldogs this season, selling out home and away games in equal numbers.
“The whole Homewood community, the whole city community…I just want to thank everybody for their support,” Morsillo said. “The whole city, no matter if we’re rivals or not, they had our back. They wanted us to finish strong…that Westinghouse crowd pumped us up every game. They’re the best. It was a blessing to play for them.”
This season, Westinghouse’s players maintained that a loss to Allderdice in the 2021 City League Championship spurred them to this year’s historic run. Morsillo said Green uses the highs and lows of the Westinghouse program to prepare his players for life after football.
“We’re men. Losses happen, you know, but we got so far. It’s just a minor setback,” Morsillo said. “Next year, high school’s over…he’s trying to prepare us for the next level, just prepare us for life, showing us the way. He’s a successful Black man trying to make us follow in his footsteps.”
Green said the respect he has for graduating seniors like Morsillo, linebacker Roderick Green and so many others is mutual.
“They are the reason why we’re here. The countless hours of dedication and commitment they’ve put into the program, how much they’ve sacrificed to be leaders—because it’s not easy,” Green said. “We demand a lot from our guys, but even more from our leaders. I’m just super proud of them and the growth that’s happened over the past three years.”
The graduating class catapulted Westinghouse back on the scene. Green said he looks forward to passing the culture they helped him foster on to the next generation of Bulldogs.
“I think that the hardest part is moving on from the seniors, knowing that it’s their last game,” Green said. “To me, that’s [also] the exciting part, is knowing that the coaches—the guys I hand-picked to be a part of this program—have to carry on the legacy, the culture of this program. I think the program is in good hands.”