Football fans stood on their feet, raised their voices to the sky and cheered on the first kick-off of Tomahawk football following 18 months of an unprecedented pandemic.

With Old Glory lifted high, waving stars and stripes above the end zone, junior varsity cheerleader Savannah Walker filled the stadium with a stunning performance of the national anthem.

In a matter or a snap, we were back! Starting the day, freshmen Tomahawks took to the field facing the Rockets of north Bakersfield. Pulling off an impressive season opening win, 42–6, first-year head coach Danny Roach and staff led their first-year team to victory.

“The freshmen coaching staff couldn’t be prouder of our 7- and 8-year-olds,” Roach said. “They have been working hard all year and to see their smiles from Saturday’s win was priceless!”

Sophomore Tomahawks commanded the field on offense as their defense held the line in a 29–6 victory over the Rockets. While playing tough, junior varsity Tomahawks were overcome by the Rockets in a 32–7 loss.

“We are really proud of the effort the boys played with. We were right there most of the game, we just didn’t make the plays we needed to,” said head coach Brandon Billings. “We will get back to work and be ready for our next game.”

As the final event of the day unfolded, varsity Tomahawks displayed immense strength in a back-and-forth clash against the Rockets.

“Our offense put 15 points on board against a tough Rockets defense, while we held them to one touchdown,” head coach Rod Michael said. “They battled to the end showing us coaches they have the heart to fight for four quarters. We as coaches are proud of their efforts and look forward to the season ahead.” Final score, Tomahawks 15 to Rockets 8.

Next week the Tehachapi Tomahawks welcome Thunder of Delano as we celebrate and honor the heroes of 9/11. Freshmen kick off at 10 a.m., sophomores at noon, junior varsity at 2 p.m. and varsity at 4 p.m. Follow us on Facebook at Tehachapi Youth Football and Cheer.

Jenifer Michael is a parent with Tehachapi Youth Football.