Corey Costelloe mug

Corey Costelloe

It’s Homecoming week at Tehachapi High School and if you’re gauging the importance of homecoming on the results of the football season thus far, you’re probably lamenting this annual tradition. I get it, I understand. It’s been another tough season on the gridiron, something those of us in Tehachapi simply aren’t used to.

There is, however, plenty to look forward to during this 2019 Homecoming. Despite the football record, there are plenty of classes, student groups, cheerleaders and several others going through the annual work to ensure homecoming is memorable once again. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t point out that this fall sports season has had a lot to celebrate thus far: varsity girls volleyball is competitive in the South Yosemite League and the Lady Warriors have one home game during the homecoming week against league-leading Bakersfield Christian. The Warriors cross-country team has also won several accolades this season and could be a solid contender in the weeks to come.

But of course, the culmination of any homecoming is football, and that’s where it is still imperative that this community not write off Friday night’s game and homecoming festivities due to a winless record. Instead of dismissing the program and reacting poorly to the unchartered waters we are currently sailing, I think it’s more important than ever that the community respond with a traditional homecoming attendance.

Yes, there have been tough games this season, there have been unprecedented lopsided losses and some tough pills to swallow, but this is the time when that famous Tehachapi community support is needed more than ever.

How can we as a community preach to young people that they should never give up if we in fact have given up on them? Home field advantage still means something, and it will be needed this week especially as Tehachapi seeks their first win this season against Golden Valley.

The Bulldogs haven’t exactly lit up the win column this season either, they’re 1-6 on the year and also 0-2 in South Yosemite League play having lost 21-6 last week to Independence, the team that needed every second of the game clock to defeat the Warriors in Bakersfield a few weeks ago. So, if you’re asking me, yes, there’s a chance the bleeding ends this Friday night, but it can’t simply be left up to the boys on the field.

Friday night’s temperature makes for the perfect Mountain Football weather: clear, chilly, some breeze blowing through, and let’s add to that autumn weather with a dose of hometown support for the Warriors. I don’t like watching our team lose either, but each week is a new game and I do my part to help this program succeed. I am not going to let a bad season define me as a fan of this program, especially on homecoming week, it’s my duty as an alum to be on hand to help this group finally get over the hump and into the win column.

I’ve seen every snap this season. I’ll tell you now that it will be a close game this Friday night, much like it was a few weeks ago at Independence; had that game been at home I think the Warriors would have won that one. Now, this week on homecoming, they’ll host Golden Valley with another close game to come. I hope that we can all appreciate the tradition of homecoming, the importance of home field advantage and enjoy what makes Tehachapi different from every other school we play.

Wins and losses come and go, but our tradition needs to outlast the record on the field and ensure that the Mountain Football advantage is played at every opportunity. And that’s what we certainly have this homecoming Friday night.

Corey Costelloe has covered NCAA, professional and local sports for more than 20 years as a reporter and broadcaster. A THS graduate, he now resides in Tehachapi. He can be reached at corey.costelloe@gmail.com. The opinions expressed are his own.