Sunday, September 11, 2016

Another Week, More American Football Mania

Another week rolled by as the starting date of my newest adventure coaching American football in Madrid, Spain for the Osos Rivas American football team rapidly approaches.

This week would be a tad different as Danny Page, who I first met in Barcelona back in late June, had asked me to work with him on the Ventura County Star's live on-line streaming broadcast of the Newbury Park HS (2-0) at Westlake HS (1-1) game on Friday night. I would be Danny's color man in the booth while Ventura College Athletic Director Will Cowan would be Danny's sideline reporter during the contest.

As it would be my first time working as a color commentator, I felt that I had to be more than a little bit prepared.

Thus, on Tuesday, I was off to . . .

Newbury Park HS
Home of the Panthers

My first assignment was a good 30 minute interview with Panthers' Head Coach Jason Klein to find out all that I could about the team's personnel and and strategies of note.

Jason made my job easy with his openness.

After our interview, I sat in on their practice that afternoon. 

The Panthers looked confident

Maybe too confident.

The following day, Wednesday, I was off to . . .

Westlake HS
Home of the Warriors

Just like I had done the day before, I started with a 30 minute interview with the Warriors' leader, Coach Tony Henney.

Tony also pulled no punches in telling me all that I needed to know about his club and what they needed to do to defeat the Panthers for a ninth straight season.

Warriors' Inside Run Defense Drill

There was a palpable sense of urgency during the Warriors' practice.  They needed to rebound from their worst defeat in school history in Texas the previous Friday against Aledo HS.

It looked to be a good matchup from what I could tell.

Thursday night, Laurie and I were off to La Cañada-Flintridge, California to watch my alma mater, the St. Francis HS Golden Knights (1-0), host the Pasadena HS Bulldogs (0-2).

St. Francis HS is a GREAT
setting to watch a game

Especially when the Golden Knights are rolling to a 35-0 victory.

Friday night was my broadcasting debut.

A beautiful late afternoon
at Westlake HS

I spent 11 years here from 1978-1988 as the Warriors' first Head Football Coach.

I'm on the left and Danny Page
is on the right

You can hear our broadcast at this website:

Westlake in Orange,
Newbury Park in White

It was a fantastic game to watch as underdog Westlake had a 19 point lead in the 4th quarter.

The Newbury Park's Oklahoma University commit QB Cameron Rising led a furious comeback to lead the Panthers to an astonishing 43-40 victory. When the Panthers scored the last TD of the game with 1:37 left in the fourth quarter to make it 43-40, it was the first and only time that NPHS led in the game.

The Newbury Park-Westlake series started in 1979 and is now tied at 19-19-1.

I guess that I did OK as a color commentator since they asked me to come back and do it one more time next Friday during the Santa Paula HS Cardinals (1-2) at the Fillmore HS Flashes (0-3) game. This is the oldest rivalry in Ventura County high school American football history with Friday night's meeting being the 106th between these two schools located only a few minutes apart on Highway 126.

Saturday was College Game Day at our house.

Son Mike and Grandson Jacob joined us to watch, God only knows, how many NCAA contests on TV.

 Although it was COLLEGE
Football Saturday . . .

Mike had purchased two Los Angeles Rams jerseys for Jacob that arrived just in time for the Rams' season opener Monday night on the road against the San Francisco 49ers.

Go Rams GO!

 Saturday Tradition

After each TD is scored in a game we are watching, Mike takes Jacob outside and throws him up in the air once for each TD we've seen, i.e., once after the first TD of the day, four times after the fourth TD of the day, etc.

By mid-afternoon, Mike was getting tired.

Jacob not so much.

See, even after the days TENTH
TD, Jacob is still raring to go!

Saturday night NCAA DIII
Football Live

I drove down to Eagle Rock, California to see the University of Puget Sound Loggers (1-0) take on the home standing Occidental College Tigers (0-0).

This game was of more than the usual interest to me as I had spoken to players from both schools last Spring about furthering their careers in EuroBall after graduation. 

 The Sun going down over
Occidental's Jack Kemp Field

It was a spirited contest from start to finish with UPS leading after three periods 22-20.

Then it got crazy as the two teams combined for 49 points in the fourth quarter.

UPS prevailed to go back to their home in Tacoma, Washington with a thrilling 49-42 victory.

FS Jacob Wuesthoff
University of Puget Sound
Senior - 6'1" - 185 lbs.

Jacob is a Newbury Park HS alumnus who I met with back in June to discuss his interest in furthering his playing career after graduation.

On Saturday night he had two forced fumbles, intercepted a pass and was in on a whole bunch of tackles.

EuroBall coaches and teams need to take a good look at this kid after he graduates from UPS next Spring.

I also saw another five players on the field from both squads who are Seniors and can also have good careers in EuroBall in my opinion.


1 comment:

David said...

Fillmore-Santa Paula! Now you're talking real football ... as long as Fillmore wins.