Eager and anxious young athletes work out the kinks of the off season in May during spring drills. While other classmates plan down time in June, they dedicate their summer nights to training and preparation. In July hard work is rewarded with what some would call battle gear, equipment worn in competition.
Hours of mental and physical development take athletes and coaches into the highly anticipated first game of the season in August. And in what seems to be a blink of an eye, November unveils the final game.
Playing in their eleventh game, junior varsity Tomahawks earned a spot at the National Conference Championship game at Stockdale High School against the Titans of Bakersfield. Ready to put it all on the line, Tomahawks took to the field Saturday, but what transpired in those 40 minutes took players, coaches and fans by surprise.
Facing a physically aggressive and well-disciplined defense, Tomahawks struggled to find the endzone. Although the Titans only had 13 plays on offense, they were able to push past the Tomahawks' defense, reaching the endzone five times before halftime. The Tehachapi defense was able to come out strong and prevent the Bakersfield team from scoring in the second half; however, with the Tomahawks only answering back with six points, the Titans were able to end the game on top.
“It wasn’t the outcome we were hoping for, but still a great season,” said head coach Larry Root. “I’m really proud of how hard our team worked this year and a 9-2 record isn’t too shabby!”
Coach Cesar Meza said, “Incredible season. Boys showed passion, pride and determination. I’m proud to say that mountain football lives on."
The boys were not at a loss for words.
“It was a good season," says center Hayden Michael. “We had our ups and downs, but we fought hard all year. I’m proud of my team and pleased to have everyone on my team. Good year boys.”
With the conclusion of the season, all four divisions have announced their All Area player selections for the 2018 season.
For the freshmen division, quarterback Colton Michael, fullback Austin Rolow, tight end Tristan Smith, defensive back Vandon Villanueva and defensive lineman Richard Cuellar were selected. Also recognized will be Academic All Area selection Jacob Cardenas.
Sophomore division selections are running back Anthony Cerbantez, quarterback Moose Brus, linemen Kenny Pitt and Jacob Meza, and all-around player Mason Cyr. Academic All Area, with a 4.16 GPA, is Logan Miles.
Representing the junior varsity squad is Karson Tiewater and Mike Jones as the backs, Jorge Tirado and Hayden Michael for the line and AJ Anderson for the all-around pick. Holding down the Academic All Area nomination is Austin Digerolami.
Nick Smith, Ryan Wilson, Isaiah Vargas, Cory Leal and Martin Rodriguez will take the field for the Tomahawks varsity squad, with D’mario Dyson earning the Academic All Area spot.
For Tomahawk Cheer, RyLee Knight, Jaidyn Oropeza, Sophia Buentiempo, and TiLee Ledford will represent the junior varsity squad. Varsity cheer All Area team is Angelica Perry, Aryana Sedano, Caroline Champagne, Hailey Pimentel, Jasmine Craft, Kamryn Huebner, Katarina Arredondo, Kylie Kaczmarczyk, Makayla Galloway and Sarah Stanley. All Area Academic cheerleaders are freshman Julia Megrdle, sophomore Grace Van Ostrand-Todd and varsity Hailey Pimentel.
The sophomore, junior varsity and varsity All Area players will take the field for the final time for the 2018 season in cross-conference games on Saturday, Nov. 17 at Independence High School in Bakersfield. Freshmen players along with Academic All Area selections will be honored during halftime of the varsity games.
Sara Brus is a team parent.