It starts with ambition to make the decision to play football. Courage to strap up in pads and helmets. Bravery to face the opponent in man-to-man battle. This all derived from young athletes with a minimum of seven years' life experience. In game five of the nine-game season, freshmen Tomahawks took to the field with determination following an encouraging week of practice and finally received the payoff.
Taking the field with first possession of the game, freshman Tomahawk No. 23 David Sipes set the tempo with a huge 70-yard touchdown run, which would start the series of events that would lead to victory against Southwest Mojo of Bakersfield.
“Our boys played well today. Started out fast scoring on our first drive and never looked back,” said head coach Chris Bowman. Playing away on the field of Arvin High School, Tomahawks scored a season-high 28 points, No. 23 David Sipes for 3 touchdowns, No. 3 Brenden Smith for 1 touchdown with No. 44 Kyden Pina wrapping up the extra point conversations 4/4.
The offensive intensity lateraled over to the Tomahawks defense, holding the Mojos to only 13 points in the game.
“We look forward to building on our first win,” said Bowman as they go into the week preparing for their upcoming competition versus the Rockets of Bakersfield.
Junior varsity Tomahawks, coming off a big win in the previous week, approached rival Irish of Bakersfield with confidence. No. 88 Devin Jackson revved up the scoring with a 25-yard touchdown reception from quarterback No. 17 Moose Brus. No. 21 Anthony Cerbantez led the team in rushing yards with eight rushes for 75-yards and two touchdowns. Also making it into the end zone, a touchdown apiece, No. 22 Ruben Sedano, No. 24 Adrian Pina and No. 11 Gabe Sipes. No. 26 Carter Kolesar was a perfect 5/5 kicking PATs.
The ferocity of the Tomahawks defense held the Irish to only 8 points, leading in tackles by No. 24 Adrian Pina and No. 27 Peter Cusimano and fumble recovery by No. 52 Kenneth Pitt.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better effort playing Irish on their field at Garces High School. Our boys went in ready for a great game,” head coach Larry Root said. A great game it was with another tremendous win, junior varsity Tomahawks 46, Irish 8.
The rivalry extended into the afternoon for varsity Tomahawks, in a heated battle for the historic Ogilvie Bowl trophy, a prize also exchanging hands through the generations at the high school level.
Varsity Tomahawks showed up focused on the task at hand, one goal in mind, to take the Ogilvie Bowl trophy back to Tehachapi and only one thing stood in the way: the Irish. In a solid team effort, the Tomahawks hammered down from the beginning and never lifted.
No. 34 AJ Anderson led the offense for two touchdowns, one apiece by No. 4 Mike Jones, No. 5 Ty’rion Davis, No. 50 Hoben Hoge and No. 8 Jacob Root. No. 1 Aiden Corbin kicked 4/6 PATs. Through the heat of competitive play, they remained focused on the target and executed on all levels of the game.
“I am super proud of these boys in their fight for excellence and their will to play as one team, as family,” said head coach Rod Michael. In a triumphant win, the 44 points of the Tomahawks trumped the 18 of the Irish, sending the trophy back up the mountain to the trophy case of the Tehachapi Tomahawks for yet another season.
Sophomore Tomahawks return next week following their bye week.
The sophomore Tomahawks welcome the Cavaliers of Bakersfield Saturday, Sept. 28 at 12 p.m., junior varsity Talons of Bakersfield at 2 p.m. and varsity Cavilers at 4 p.m. Freshmen Tomahawks travel to the Rockets, 11 a.m. at North High School.
Jenn Michael is Tehachapi Youth Football's director of off field operations.