Friday, November 14, 2008

2008 Pacific View League Freshman Football Championship Game

Camarillo (8-1, 4-0 PVL)
Rio Mesa (8-1, 4-0 PVL)

What a GREAT way to end a football season!

Two crosstown rivals meeting under the lights with a league championship on the line not to mention a year's worth of bragging rights! It just doesn't get any better than this!!!

"Defense Wins Championships"

We selected four captains all representing that side of the ball, #52 LB Nick Gutierrez, #91 DE Ben Dixon, #11 Tanner Wrout and #26 FS Darren Gales


If you have followed the blog this season you are well aware that focus has been an issue all season long, but not so tonight. We kept them at school eating a snack at 2:30 p.m. consisting of one In-N-Out hamburger, granola bars and a Gatorade thanks to the efforts of the parents spearheaded by Mr. and Mrs. Jeff and Lori Wrout.

After the meal we adjourned to a classroom to view an NFL film entitled "Moment of Impact" to help get the boys in the right frame of mind.

Apparently it all worked. The team locker room was much more focused without the usual horsing around. The kids, on their own, were at the doorway ready to take the field 15 minutes before we were supposed to go out. Our pre-game warm-up was crisp and when we left the field 15 minutes before the scheduled 6:00 p.m. kickoff the kids were very anxious to get back out there and play. I thought we were as ready mentally as we could be.

Our last reminder to the team was that Camarillo was also a VERY good team and that this would be a very tough games with peaks and valleys that we would have to fight through. In other words it would NOT BE EASY!

#9 TB/CB Jaylen Stewart

Jaylen represented Sparta well tonight. He toted the pigskin 26 times for 89 hard earned yards and a TD. On defense he and FS Darren Gales tied for a team high 10 tackles on the night.  Unfortunately, as you probably know, it is not a good sign when two of your DBs are your leading tacklers vs. a team that, like Camarillo, that runs the ball.

For the season, Jaylen had 75 carries good for 454 yards and 7 TDs in an injury marred season that saw him miss 4 games in the middle of our year.

#11 FB/Falcon Tanner Wrout

Beyond question, Tanner has been our outstanding player this year because of his durability, toughness, blocking and ability to come up with a big play when you need one. The Camarillo game was no different.

Tanner blocking at fullback paved the way for Jaylen and he also had 100 yards rushing on 10 carries including a 54 yard TD scamper. Tanner also had 4 first hit tackles vs. the Scorpions.

Tanner's season statistics saw him lead the team in scoring with 68 points on 11 TDs and a 2 point PAT.

He was also our leading rusher with 87 carries for 685 yards and 6 TDs.

He was our second leading pass receiver with 21 catches for 256 yards that led to 2 TDs and a 2 point PAT.

He completed his only pass for 15 yards.

On defense, his 39 tackles ranked him fifth on the team and included 7 tackles for losses totaling -35 yards, a QB Sack for -10 yards, four interceptions that he returned 110 yards for 2 TDs and one fumble recovery that he returned 45 yards for yet another TD.

Tanner is just a TREMENDOUS young player who is only going to get bigger, faster, stronger and better!

#1 WR/CB Blake Selig

The hard luck player on our team was Blake.  He is very talented and we expected big things from him this season but a broken collarbone forced him out of 7t games.  It was good to see him back on the field.

What I liked about Blake the most was the way he reacted to his misfortune.  Most freshman players in his situation just slink off the field when the bell rings to end the school day, we start practice during our 6th period Athletic P.E. class, NOT BLAKE.

Blake was there until the end of practice every day helping other players and paying attention to what was going on in practice so that he would be mentally ready IF he could come back.  Our staff was SO happy for him when he was cleared to play again in the final two games of the season.

The Trenches

Big games are won here. Tonight would be no different. Yards were hard to come by as we were only able to eke out 202 yards in total offense while the Scorpions had a total of 216 yards on the night.

One of the keys to the championship was Camarillo's ability to control the line of scrimmage both offensively and defensively.

The one telling, key statistic here was that we only came up with one tackle for loss netting -1 yard while Camarillo had nine tackles for losses of -24 yards.  This meant that the Scorpion attack ran smoothly while ours faced several long yardage situations.

The Joy of Playing High School Football

Celebrating after Jaylen Stewart's 5 yard TD run put us ahead 14-6 in the third quarter.

Tanner Wrout on his 54 yards TD Jaunt

Other key plays on the night were Ben Dixon's blocked punt when Camarillo tried to execute a third down quick kick.  Tanner Wrout picked up the carom and returned it 6 yards to the Scorpion 9 yard line setting up our final score on the night.

Nick Gutierrez also blocked an extra point attempt that could have proved critical. 

We fought the hard fight but in the end Camarillo prevailed 20-14 to claim the Pacific View League's freshman level championship.

The other key statistic was found in the all important turnover battle which we lost 3-0.

Bottom line, on Thursday, November 13, 2008 the better team, Camarillo (9-1, 5-0 PVL), won.

I was VERY proud of our team this year as we grew during the course of the season.  I temper the disappointment of Thursday night with the knowledge that we went 8-2, 4-1 PVL on the season.

At the start of the year our staff set goals of continuous improvement as a team, instilling a love for the great game of football and player development as our main goals.  I think we accomplished these goals.

I was happy that, with the exception of the Oxnard game where the Yellowjackets refused to play a Fifth Quarter after our game, EVERY ONE of our 67 players on the roster who dressed out for any of the other nine games played in it.  100%, no exceptions!

As a result, NOT counting Fifth Quarters, we had 49 different players get in on at least one tackle, 12 different Spartans scored a point and 20 different backs carried the ball.

The prototype for our philosophy was TB Rod White.  We discovered him as our third string tailback in a Fifth Quarter against St. Francis.  We would proceed to lose our top two tailbacks and top 3 cornerbacks for most of the season.  Rod wound up being a two-way starter for us at these positions most of the season, finishing with 378 rushing yards on 45 carries and scoring 6 TDs.  He was also in on 24 tackles.

Finally I want to thank all the parents who were so supportive in driving kids to away games, taking the pictures you see on this blog, organizing the snack mentioned above, helping our players with academic counseling and just plain and simply providing encouragement to the boys all season long.



Barry said...


I stumbled upon your blog and have been reading it for a couple of weeks now. What a great that allows these young men to veiw thier accomplishments. Congrats on a great freshman season and you are truly a great ambassador for the game of Football. Good luck in Italy this season. I really enjoyed reading the book "Playing for Pizza" and I am glad to know someone who is enjoying the Italian football lifestyle.

Good Luck!

Barry Reardon-

George said...


Thanks for the positive feedback!

Your dad is still alive, kicking and coaching up a storm! I think he truly had a GREAT time coaching the Frosh team with all of us this season.

We're off to Sicily in February.