HILLSIDE

These days, it seems the only way a high school football team breaks out of the local news bubble is by conducting a Black Lives Matter-related national anthem protest or pulling off a SportsCenter-Top-10-worthy play. One act signifies “boycott” while the other might be the pinnacle of participation.

But what happens in between?

A look the Hillside Hornets varsity football team of Durham, N.C., over the course of their 2016 season.

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Hillside High School's Zakee Simmons clutches a football during a team religious service and dinner, Sept. 15, 2016, in the school cafeteria.
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Hillside's Tory Truesdale, from left, Tavis Rhodes, Deion Williams, and Aaron McCullough walk down the hallway of their school, Sept. 15, 2016, prior to watching the the junior varsity football team play.
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Hillside's Rasheed Harris trains on a treadmill during a weight room and practice session, Sept. 14, 2016, at the school.
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Hillside's Corey Spell, right, uses a teammate as a pillow during a September 16, 2016, bus ride to South Boston, Va. to play Halifax County High School.
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Hillside quarterback Randy Trice Jr., center, puts his pads on, Sept. 16, 2016, prior to a game against Halifax County High School in South Boston, Va.
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Hillside's Zakee Simmons walks past his team's fans as his team took on Southern High School on Monday night, Sept. 5, 2016, at Hillside High School. Hillside won, 7-3.
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Hillside's Isreal Hinton, from left, Nick Campbell, Shamon Mercier, and Rashad Bailey sit with teammates in a baseball dugout during halftime of their football game against Southern High School on Monday night, Sept. 5, 2016, at Hillside High School.
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Hillside players take the field for their homecoming game against Riverside-Durham High School, Friday, October 14, 2016, at Hillside High School. Hillside won, 34-7.
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Members of the Hillside High School band and dance team perform during halftime of a football game, September 9, 2016, at Hillside High School.
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Hillside's Rashad Bailey rests on his team's sideline as they took on Southern High School on Monday night, Sept. 5, 2016, at Hillside High School. Hillside won, 7-3.
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Hillside's Zakee Simmons is embraced by a coach prior to a game against Charles E. Jordan High School on Friday, October 28, 2016, at Jordan High School. Hillside won, 42-14.
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Hillside's Corey Spell, center, sings his team’s fight song with teammates after they beat Cardinal Gibbons High School, 41-35, on the last play of the game, Oct. 6, 2016, at Cardinal Gibbons High School, in Raleigh, N.C.
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Hillside coach Ray Harrison, center, dances after his team beat Cardinal Gibbons High School, 41-35, on the last play of the game, Oct. 6, 2016, at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, N.C.
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Hillside's Tavis Rhodes, center, jokes with teammates on their bus after a Sept. 16, 2016 victory over Halifax County High School in South Boston, Va. Hillside won, 43-6.
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Hillside's Tory Truesdale, center, playfully fights with teammate Micheal Bizzell, left, in their locker room after they beat Person High School, 58-6, in their last regular-season game, November 4, 2016, at Hillside High School.
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Arm in arm, Hillside's Randy Trice Jr., left, and Deshaun Mitchell walk down Fayetteville Street with teammates during the school's annual homecoming parade, Sunday afternoon, Oct. 9, 2016, in Durham, N.C. The parade wound its way down Fayetteville Street, from East Lawson Street to the high school.
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Hillside players look out at the crowd from the back of a pickup truck during the school's annual homecoming parade, Sunday afternoon, Oct. 9, 2016, in Durham, N.C.
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Hillside's Dymir Watson, left, slaps hands with a spectator during the school's annual homecoming parade, Sunday afternoon, Oct. 9, 2016, in Durham, N.C.
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Hillside players shout to spectators from the back of a pickup truck during the school's annual homecoming parade, Sunday afternoon, Oct. 9, 2016, in Durham, N.C.
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Hillside's Zakee Simmons, center, celebrates on the shoulders of teammates Isreal Hinton, from left, Justin Clemons, and David Miranda, after his team beat Person High School, 58-6, in their last regular-season game, November 4, 2016, at Hillside High School.
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Hillside's David Madzivanyika looks out at teammates boarding buses prior to an away game in Virginia against Halifax County High School, Sept. 16, 2016, at Hillside High School.
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Hillside's Zakee Simmons, center, rallies his team prior to a game against Halifax County High School, Sept. 16, 2016, in South Boston, Va.
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Hillside's Tyhijar Green sits in his team’s locker room during a halftime of an away game, Oct. 6, 2016, at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, N.C.
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Hillside quarterback Randy Trice Jr. is overcome with emotion after Hillside came from behind to beat Cardinal Gibbons High School, 41-35, in the last play of the game, Oct. 6, 2016, at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, N.C.
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Hillside players walk back to their team bus after a game against Cardinal Gibbons High School, Oct. 6, 2016, at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, N.C.
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Hillside players roll across a baseball outfield as part of punishment for being late to practice, Sept. 14, 2016, at Hillside High School.
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Hillside's Deshaun Mitchell, left, helps teammate Myles Dillon up off the ground after a play during a game against Dudley High School, Sept. 9, 2016, at Hillside High School. Hillside lost, 32-26, the team's only loss of the regular season.
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Hillside's Devonta Horton, from left, Saviya Moore, and David Gray sit on their team's bench late game against Dudley High School, Sept. 9, 2016, at Hillside High School. Hillside lost, 32-26, the team's only loss of the regular season.
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A Hillside player hugs a family member outside of the team's locker room after a loss to Dudley High School, 32-26, Sept. 9, 2016, at Hillside High School, the team’s only loss of the regular season.
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Hillside's Corey Spell sits alone in a baseball dugout during halftime of his team's last regular-season football game, which was played against Person High School, Nov. 4, 2016, at Hillside High School.