FAIRLEA, WV- The 2023 football season is over for the Greenbrier East Spartans and although they finished the year just 2-8, there were a lot of positives for many players and things to look forward to in the coming years for others.
Senior linebacker Landon Vanfosson was one of those players that really stepped up and provided leadership on and off the field throughout the whole season. Vanfosson finished with 40 tackles, seven sacks, two fumble recoveries, a blocked field goal and an interception returned for a touchdown.
That pick-6–and the blocked FG– came in the season finale win over Lincoln County which also happened to be senior night, as Vanfosson saved his best for last. Besides the interception and the blocked kick, he had two sacks and multiple tackles for loss in the process as well. That effort led to Vanfosson’s second WVDN player of the week award. The performance was arguably the best game of the linebacker’s career, and he echoed that same thought.
“I do think that was one of my best games I’ve played and also one of the most fun I played in. Everyone was excited, we got off to a good start, and we rallied around each to finish the season strong,” Vanfosson said.
With the Spartans able to win their final contest, it alleviated some of the negative that reared its ugly head during the season. However, Vanfosson said the blame could be on bad luck and injuries to key personnel.
“It was challenging overall,” Vanfosson stated.
“We had a tough schedule and dealt with a lot of teammates missing games and practices due to injuries,” he added.
Dealing with adversity, however, is key to growing and learning, and the impact that Greenbrier East football had on no. 15 is something he will always learn from and cherish forever.
“There will always be challenges and if you keep a positive attitude, you can make the best out of anything. I developed many friendships during my years there that will last past high school,” Vanfosson said.
With so many underclassmen on the field this year, the future is brighter and is sort of a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. Vanfosson’s advice to those players will resonate well, and he wants his little brother to heed his words too.
“Be a good leader to the underclassmen. You set the example for what they see in practice and games. Have fun while it lasts. I hope I set a good example for my brother Logan,” Vanfosson explained.
With an admiration for flying, Vanfosson plans to head to Fairmont state and attend flight school, but he still has several months at East to get through first. But with how fast the fall has gone, flight school is just around the corner.
“I’m surprised it went by fast. It felt like the season started not that long ago,” Vanfosson concluded.
Vanfosson is the son of Chris and Janelle.
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