Fairview High School’s Steve D’Epagnier is congratulated by Carlo Kemp after a sack during a game against Arvada West on Friday, Oct. 4, at Boulder High School. For more photos of the game go to Jeremy Papasso/ Camera

BOULDER — Needless to say, the Fairview football team is buying what Tom McCartney is selling.

The longtime coach has one of his most motivated teams ever, but this past Friday’s game against Arvada West was a particularly titillating tilt.

The week leading up to the homecoming game was full of inspiration, from the top on down the line.

Walking to the locker room after a 41-21 win for postgame interviews, I noticed an unusual amount of players wearing black undershirts with the number ‘5’ right on the chest.

At first I was wondering if they were honoring a player who suffered a tragedy of some sort, but it wasn’t as deep as that. It was, however, a source of inspiration for the week as McCartney bought all the players the shirts to represent how crucial this fifth week of football was.

“We hadn’t won a homecoming game, we’ve lost seven of the last eight (homecomings) and it was just big for our school,” said Johnny Feauto, who made a key interception in the first half that preserved Fairview’s slim lead at the time. “(McCartney) just wanted to just show the whole school that we needed this. He gave us that shirt to believe in it, and we all did.”

“Mac is always good at getting us motivated for big games, and I think this is one of the biggest games we’ll play all year,” added quarterback Anders Hill, who continues to impress for Class 5A’s lone undefeated team. “Homecoming, we had to get to 5-0. We haven’t been particularly good on homecoming in years past, so I think this was a huge win for us and for the school.”

Will we see the trend continue week-by-week?

“I don’t know … but this was just big,” Feauto said.

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