Young athletes wait for it. They look forward to their opportunity to take part in its experience. It’s the thrill of taking to the field under the glow of the lights. Surrounded by dark, it’s as if nothing else matters but what the light touches. As the sun dropped on the fields of the Tomahawks on Saturday, young varsity athletes concluded the season in what for some would be their final game with Tehachapi Youth Football in special manner.

In a back-and-forth playoff game versus the Ravens of Bakersfield, varsity Tomahawks ended their season in an unfortunate 3 to 8 loss.

“Our kids played with heart and probably their best game of the season,” said head coach Brian Copus. “We made too many mistakes on offense. I’m really proud of these guys and I’m going to miss them now knowing our season is over.”

For head coach Copus, this not only wraps up the season, but also ends his 30-year coaching career for the Tomahawks.

In a consolation game against the Bengals of Bakersfield, freshmen Tomahawks fiercely played on both sides of the ball to complete their season with a win.

“The boys showed up determined to finish the season on a high note,” head coach Rod Michael said. “Defense played well, giving up minimal first downs, while offense was able to move the ball and put points on the board.”

The Tomahawks' final score of the season 26 to Bengals 0.

“This win sends us off for the 2018 season and springs us forward looking into 2019,” Michael said. “Special thanks to the freshmen coaches and their intensity all year.”

Sophomore Tomahawks traveled to Mira Monte High School in Bakersfield to compete in their consolation game against Pride. In what proved to be a nail-bitter, sophomore Tomahawks battled but came up short in final game of the season, 12 to Pride 16.

With a chance to leap forward in a championship contention within their conference, 8-1 junior varsity Tomahawks took the field against the Ravens of Bakersfield in playoff battle. Battening down butterflies, the Tomahawks stayed motivated and focused.

“Going into playoffs, I’m pretty sure we as coaches were more nervous than the boys,” said head coach Larry Root.

Unstoppable on offense, the groundwork was led by both Karson Tiewater and Ty’rion Davis for a touchdown each, with Hoben Hoge showing off impressive skills in the air with receptions from quarterback Jacob Root for two touchdowns. With outstanding efforts by the offensive line and a dominating defense, junior varsity Tomahawks trumped the Ravens 32 to 0.

Tehachapi Youth Football will take mountain football to Stockdale High School Saturday, Nov. 3, as the junior varsity Tomahawks compete for the GEYF National Conference Championship title, time to be determined. Coaches, athletes and families invite Tehachapi to take part in this experience! Follow the Tomahawks on Facebook at Tehachapi Youth Football & Cheer for the announcement of the game time.

Jenn Michael is Tehachapi Youth Football's director of off field operations.