The sports team fanatics of Hillsborough

Everybody frantically looks at their phones, anxiously checking scores that aren’t going to appear for another week. The clock is ticking, but they still have time left before they find out their fate. No one knew that the underdogs of the league would come out on top early.

In a fantasy football league, ten friends from Hillsborough High School pledge to become enemies for the next 17 weeks. Each player contributes money at the start, with the promise that the winner at the end of the season will get the pot.

But the game hasn’t exactly been sportsmanlike. So far, for each fair play, there has been a sabotage, unfair trade, bribery or smack talk.

There have also been rivalries. “I know you’re listening to this, Jaden [Shemesh]. I’m going to beat you,” senior and avid fantasy football player Colton Tyler said.

All the competition has made it hard to keep the league under control, especially for senior Estevan Fonseca, the commissioner of the fantasy league. Keeping the league in order has kept his hands full. “I believe that this year it could be fun,” he said. “At the moment it’s kind of stressful especially for me because I have to go every day and check everyone’s team.” Fonseca has been tasked with preventing illegal trades and bribes.

However, the rivalry has also kept the competition going. “Jaden always talks about fantasy football,” Tyler said, who traded his players away for a week to prevent Shemesh from playing. Despite the competition, Tyler is still confident. “I think I’m doing really well,” he said.

The fierce competition hasn’t driven away new fantasy football players. Senior Sebastian Cuadrao is still learning the ropes, and despite a rocky start to the game, he has recently found his footing. “I am a god,” Cuadrao said. “They didn’t think I could do this. They think I drafted bad, but I know I drafted good.” Cuadrao currently boasts a 3-0 record.

And the competition isn’t slowing down, the league plans on going strong until January.

Despite the ups and downs of the competition, Fonseca thinks that fantasy football can teach high schoolers valuable skills. “It’s really good at helping

kids be responsible,” he said. “It also helps you with interpersonal relationships with your friends because if you can’t trade players, you’ll just seem like a dictator and you’ll get nowhere. You just need to learn to have good emotional responses to people.”