Homecoming Reflects Tiger Varsity Football Season

Ivan Estrada, No. 20, breaks free during the loss to Temple City at the rescheduled Homecoming game. Estrada scored a touchdown late in Monday’s game. Photos by Henk Friezer

The traditional homecoming festivities reflected in a way the long season faced by the So Pas Tigers varsity football team.

The festivities started strong this past Friday night, just like the Tigers season, with an impressive introduction of the seniors and their families, who ended up in single file along the home field sideline standing proud and dignified.

The Tigers won their first game of the season against Mountain View, 35-14. Also an impressive debut, indeed, but then the wheels came off and the Tigers started to lose, falling this past week again, this time to the Temple City Rams, 21-7.

Photo by Henk Friezer

The homecoming festivities were also impressive but then the weather interrupted a well-planned and equally impressive display of the Homecoming Court and fireworks show of quality proportions.

The lightening began to light up the skies and the rain began to pour. Homecoming was aborted with a fireworks-light show and court honorees and family were forced to run for cover as the rain pelted their tuxedos and full-length evening gowns. The students, though, did their best to maintain the dignity and honor of a true homecoming event.

As did the Tigers varsity football squad, which finally broke through against Temple City (TC) and scored a touchdown with seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. The score, which saw No. 20, Ivan Estrada, scamper for 12 yards into the end zone, was the first points on the board for the Tigers in 15 quarters of play.

Photo by Henk Friezer

Moreover, Estrada, who many consider the best offensive weapon the Tigers have and have had in a while, blasted through the TC receiving team to recover a perfectly executed onside kick. The game had only seconds remaining but the Tigers were the recipient of a penalty that moved the ball to the Rams 15-yard line. Suddenly, things were looking mighty good. Alas, the very next play, however, saw the Rams intercept a misguided pass and the defender took off in the opposite direction, down to the Tigers 30-yard line where the game ended.

“This would be the least successful season we’ve had in football in the last five years.” Said Greg Luna, So Pas High School athletic director. “I think we have to own our responsibilities both as a coaching staff and the players. In some cases we lost to better teams and we are not upset about that. We get upset when we see the same mistakes in the same situations. The kids are trying. I’m going to give that to them. It doesn’t just fall on the players or the coaches, it falls on all of us.”

Head Coach Jeff Chi agreed, saying he too was disappointed.

Photo by Henk Friezer

“It’s a little disappointing,” Chi said after the game. “At the halftime, I was talking to the guys. There’s a point in time when you got to start playing with some pride and do what you’re supposed to do. We made too many mental mistakes and sometimes I think our kids feel that what they do is not important and everything they do is important…It’s not a good feeling when you keep losing like this. But the kids are fighting and they’re fighting hard ,so we just got to finish the season off strong next week against La Cañada.”

The last game of the season is at La Cañada, which also is without a win in league play. They are 0-2 in league and 1-7 overall.

Meanwhile, the Tigers are 0-3 in league and 2-7 overall. Last year, the Tigers beat La Cañada, 41-6.

Photo by Henk Friezer