By Jannelle Dang
Varsity football’s senior night game against the top school in their league, Arroyo High School, on Nov. 4 marked the finale of a challenging season. The Eagles lost 0-56, but brought heart and determination onto the field before signing off for the year.
The team began their season with high hopes with equally high potential. However, they were met with hardships that tested their abilities to adapt.
Junior Andy Doan admitted, “We started out strong, but were held back from reaching our full potential because of injuries.”
By the end of the season, half the team’s starting players had to sit out, but their teammates stepped up without hesitation to fill in their positions on the field. The Eagles’ confidence led them to emerge victorious from their face-off against Santa Clarita Christian on Sept. 17 as they won 32-26.
Through all of its ups and downs, the football season was definitely one of reflection for the team.
“We’d come out each game without doubting ourselves, despite who we were going against,” Brandon Hudson, senior, proudly stated, “No matter what the score was we’d still keeping playing at our best.”
The team remains hopeful for the opportunities the next season will bring as the departing seniors leave their teammates with simple advice to stay focused, practice hard, and give 100 percent on the field.
“There [were] times when we should [have] come together and [remembered] why we play football and who we play for,” explained senior Cyrus Vuong. Vuong added that his job on the team is an important part of maintaining the its spirit during games by encouraging each other through chants. Chants are typically led by a single player, called the piper. This role is passed down every year to a senior that can be relied upon to rally his teammates and uplift them in crucial moments during games.
Aside from motivation from one another, support from family, friends, and coaches also helped the Eagles build strong mentalities. Setbacks and losses did not stop them from continuing to fight as they strove to represent Gabrielino High School.
Although the varsity football team did not have a perfect season, the players learned valuable lessons nevertheless.
“Our guys are champions, and they’re going to succeed in the future because they’re learning now how to deal with adversity,” stated Coach Sanin.
With ambition, determination, and passion, next year’s varsity football team can continue being men of character.