Sunday, October 23, 2022

Into a Full October American Football Weekend

Wed.-Sat., October 19-22, 2022 

Halloween is fast approaching as are the final weeks of the high school, Pop Warner and DIII collegiate football seasons.

In Mary and Jacob's neighborhood
Halloween can't arrive fast enough
for some people

The Camarillo Stingers' practices leading up to Saturday's Wild Card playoff game against the Fillmore Raiders continued . . .

Jacob going through the
Stinger's new fangled chute
for the first time

Practicing Kickoff Coverage

Jacob getting a chance to
show off his kicking skills

I joined Paul and Joanne Sabolic and their daughter Nicole, who is about 21 1/2 months pregnant with her first child, for dinner at Cronie's Sports Grill in Agoura Hills before all going together to another edition of Friday Night Lights.

Birmingham Braves/Patriots
4 Wins - 4 Losses overall
3 Wins - 0 Losses in West Valley League
#8 ranking in Los Angeles City


El Camino Real Conquistadors/Royals
5 Wins - 3 Losses overall
3 Wins - 0 Losses in West Valley League
#13 ranking in Los Angeles City

This key West Valley League game should have been played at El Camino Real but because their substandard artificial turf melted in the extreme Summer heat, and to date nothing has been done to start rebuilding the stadium's field, the game was being played at Oak Park H.S.

This was somewhat of a Los Angeles City Politically Correct Bowl game as both schools have had to change their respective nicknames and logos over the years.

Birmingham was originally known as the Braves but are now the Patriots due to the 1980s move to eliminate nicknames referring to Native Americans in a perceived derogatory way. The man depicted in the original Brave logo had a war stripe painted across his cheek. The new Patriot logo still bears that same stripe.

El Camino Real's original moniker was the Conquistadors but that changed two years ago due to the savage swath that the Spanish conquistadors had wreaked on the native tribes of the American Southwest as well as Central and South America over the centuries. Now they are simply the Royals.

El Camino Real kicking off
to start the game

It was a competitive game but too many silly mistakes at this time of the season dearly cost the Royals in the end.

Birmingham (5-4 overall, 4-0 WVL) 27
El Camino Real (5-4 overall, 3-1 WVL) 20

On Saturday morning, it was time for Jacob's Wild Card pop Warner playoff game being played at Rio Mesa H.S.

At this level, the Freshmen American Conference, all six teams make the playoffs. The #1 seed, the LA City Ducks who are 7-0 and the #2 seed, the 5-2 Santa Barbara Saints both got first round byes.

While the #4 seeded 805 Warhawks (4-4) were hosting the #5 seeded Oxnard Knights (1-7) today, we were interested in the other Wild Card game being played at Rio Mesa H.S.

#6 Seeded Fillmore Raiders
1 Win - 7 Losses


#3 Seeded Camarillo Stingers
4 Wins - 3 Losses

It was nice to be back
at Rio Mesa H.S. for a game

Old #99 with his mates
before the game

Jacob about to start the game
by Kicking Off for the Stingers

Jacob's kick was mishandled
by the Raiders with a Stinger
making the recovery!

A GREAT setting for a game

Both teams could not get out of their own ways offensively in the first quarter.

Laurie sat in pretty much this same
spot for over 20 seasons while
I coached at R.M.H.S.

Coming in on Defense at Nose Tackle

Positive Body Language
is a MUST at Nose Tackle

Being double teamed

Breaking through a gap
in the double team

Ready for anything
on a Kickoff Return

Time to Kickoff again as the
Stingers Offense got untracked


Blocking at Left Tight End

Keep your feet moving

Hustling on yet another
Stingers Kickoff

Michael and Jacob talking
football on the sidelines

Good base as Jacob walls off
a Raiders defender

Hustling to get a downfield block

Stingers keep scoring which
means another Kickoff

Nice job escaping the first blocker

A solid 40-18 win but . . .

Many of us left the game with a sour taste in our mouths over what happened just before this photo was taken.

The Stingers were leading 34-18 and had just recovered the ball thanks to a QB Strip-Sack at about the Raiders' 40 yard line with only 15 seconds remaining in the game.

The referee asked our Head Coach if we were taking a knee to end the game with a modicum of class. The Fillmore squad had fought us tooth and nail for four quarters with a roster of only 14 players suited out. The Stingers had 22 players at their disposal today. Taking a knee would have been the class move in this situation.

Our coaching staff choose a different path.

Our final play of the game was a Sweep Pass for a TD and a 40-18 final score.

A disappointing decision that could have led to an ugly post game situation but fortunately did not.

"Victory with Honor" . . .

Our Favorite Stinger

Camarillo, the #3 seed at 5-3, will play again next Saturday at 4:00 pm in a Semi-Final playoff game at Crespi H.S. in Encino against the #2 seeded Santa Barbara Saints (5-2).

It was time for some NCAA DIII Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) . . .
Saturday Night Lights!

It would be our first
California Lutheran University
game of the season

Why don't we come to more of these fun, quaint and competitive CLU games just 20 minutes away from our home with free admission for all in attendance?

Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens
5 Wins - 1 Loss overall
2 Wins - 0 Losses in SCIAC


California Lutheran Kingsmen
3 Wins - 4 Losses
1 Win - 2 Losses in SCIAC

As I said, CLU games were quaint

CLU's undedicated football
statue just outside of
William Rolland Stadium
Jacob high-fiving the Kingsmen
Captains on their way to the
pre-game coin flip


Try being a kid doing this at an NCAA DI game.

As I said, CLU games can be fun and memorable for everyone!

A CLU running back cutting
back into a huge hole

CLU's stadium is charming and
intimate, a great place to view a game

Pomona-Pitzer was backed up
into their own end zone
A boy and a football dream . . .

It will take a much hard work, growth and lots of improvement of his fundamentals.

Dream big Jacob, but remember "Hard Work Works!"

It rained intermittently throughout
the game but we were ready

Pomona-Pitzer (6-1 overall, 3-0 SCIAC) 28
Cal Lutheran (3-5 overall, 1-3 SCIAC) 24

It was an entertaining, competitive game between two talented teams that fought hard all night long despite their vastly different records.

NCAA DIII football, there is nothing quite like it.

News from EuroBall . . .

Our beloved Skorpions continue
preparations for the 2023 DI season

Italy's DI will be made up of
nine clubs this year with the
departure of the Milano Seamen
to the European League of Football

Speaking of the ELF . . .

In their third season of operation, the ELF continues to positively promote itself constantly via all form of social media platforms.

Good job ELF leaders!

The ELF will feature 18 teams playing in these ten countries, Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey when the campaign begins next June.

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