It’s rare in sports to have a weekend where all your teams win. That perfect alignment of the stars and planets prompts all your rooting interests to come together and gives you something to cheer about. Those weekends get even more rare when it comes to the postseason.
Last weekend was one of those weekends for Tehachapi football fans. It started on a Thursday night, a nod to Veterans Day and a special Thursday evening CIF Central Section Division III home playoff game for the Warriors, who did not disappoint.
They overcame a slow start, a few turnovers, but they never looked to be in trouble en route to a 34-8 trouncing of South. It was the fifth straight win for Tehachapi, which not only punched its ticket to the second round, they earned a home game as well with No. 13 ranked Fresno defeating No. 4 Independence. That upset paves the way for yet another Friday in November on the Mountain. I’m betting the small crowd size last Thursday was due to the odd calendar day for kickoff. I sure hope so. We can and need to do better than that. I expect that will be the case this Friday.
I had a great view of the game. It just so happened I filled the seat normally occupied by Tehachapi Mayor and Voice of the Warriors Ed Grimes. The first time I returned to Coy Burnett Field as a radio broadcaster years ago, Grimes surprised me with a presentation on the field at halftime. I guess you can say I returned the favor by covering the public address duties while he enjoyed a vacation. I also received affirmation of something I already knew. We have the best press box staff in all of prep sports. Tom Shea, Roger Davis, Mike Grimes and so many others made my night easy. It’s a great group to work with.
I may have been blessed with the chance to call games all over this country in famed places like Pauley Pavilion and Madison Square Garden, but nothing compares to be able to do something similar at home. The mayor is ready to return and I’m ready to just be a fan for a huge matchup this Friday at 7 p.m.
The second part of the perfect Tehachapi football weekend? Some potentially future Warriors, currently Tehachapi Tomahawk sophomores, capped an undefeated season with a 14-7 win over Southwest in the Golden Empire Youth Football League Super Bowl.
Talk about resiliency. Just seconds after Southwest took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter, Tehachapi returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown and converted a two-point conversion for a lead they would never relinquish. They added one more touchdown in the second half and held off a driving Mojo squad as time expired to punctuate the often-illusive undefeated season.
The game was played at Garces, a mere 15-minute drive across town for the Southwest fans, but Tehachapi fans outnumbered them 3-to-1. Parents, siblings, aunts, uncles (yours included), grandparents and just about everyone with a rooting interest made the trip to see our boys knock off a storied youth football powerhouse.
Then again, we’ve written a pretty good football story ourselves, and in the case of both of our teams that played last week, the rest of the Valley is taking notice.
Corey Costelloe has covered the NCAA, professional and local sports for more than 20 years as a reporter and broadcaster. A THS graduate, he now resides and works in Tehachapi. He can be reached at email@example.com.