The Road to CIF

by Alexis Oakley
Staff Writer

Capistrano Valley High School October 22ndThe El Segundo High School Eagles started their season off strong with two wins, Lynwood (41-16) and Cantwell-Sacred Heart (25-19). ESHS’ game against West Torrance crushed our two game winning streak 54-24. From there it seemed as though our boys had lost hope and lost the next two games (Oak Park 14-13 and Laguna Hills 22-13). However Homecoming night the team pulled through and gave the Eagles their first win in three games, smashing Lawndale 28-6. From there they battled Torrance and came out victorious 24-22. The following week was Senior Night, October 19th the Eagles struggled with many injuries during the North Torrance game and regrettably lost 35-7. The only chance the Eagles had to play in CIF was if they won against Centennial, if not, they could kiss any chance to the play-offs goodbye. The Eagles struggled to keep up with the Apaches, but unfortunately lost 14-27. All hope of CIF was shattered.


The atmosphere inside EL Segundo High School was indescribable when the students found out that the football team would be going to CIF after all. It was just the week before that the Eagles had won South Torrance (24-7). The team believed their season was over and they were not going play-offs until they got word that their October 26 loss at Centennial (14-27) became a win by forfeit since the Apaches were disqualified, giving the Eagles a place in the CIF play-offs. Banners were hung around the school; a blue and gold day was scheduled to help build spirit for the upcoming away CIF game. At lunch that Thursday the ESHS football players and cheerleaders went up against each other and were quizzed on the other teams sport. The football players were elated when they won with a two-point difference over the cheerleaders. The Eagles defeated La Puente High School (31-7) and were off to their second CIF game at home up against Centennial.  The team fought hard throughout the game but unfortunately lost 14-10, putting an end to their season and their CIF dreams.


The 2012-2013-football season has finally come to a close. Captains Austin Kurke, Nico Bonilla, Matt Keener, and Austin Brasher exhibited excellent leadership qualities while leading the team through an exciting season. Austin Brasher said that “when he was a freshman he looked up to seniors such as “Nigel Nootbaar, Grant Palmer, Jimmy Quinonez, and Micheal Bundy”. During the second round of CIF the El Segundo Eagles lost to the Apaches. Seth McKenna remembers the end of the game, with 8 minutes left on the clock McKenna “caught a pass and jerked the first guy out to gain a first down. Simultaneously I was hit in all four directions and came to a stand still on the field. As I tried to squirm out, all the pressure was forced straight down on my body and I began to collapse awkwardly. My foot took all the pressure and completely imploded while four tacklers laid on top of me.” X rays showed that McKenna snapped his 2nd, 3rd and 4th metalcel in his foot and two weeks later had three metal plates surgically implanted into his foot.

I asked sophomore Mikey Villa what he thought when he found out that the Eagles were going to CIF he said, “I was super excited and ready to work hard for a CIF ring!” They worked hard throughout the entire season with only a couple minor set backs and injuries on the team. When asked what Seth McKenna’s favorite memory this season was he said “all the fun times we (the team) shared together… whether it was singing the “Mighty Moose Song”, or grubbing at Standard Station on Saturday mornings, every time we were together as a family was just another memory to add to an outstanding season!” Sophomore Lars Nootbaar said, “Throughout the season I looked up to all the seniors that were leading the way for us and they did an amazing job being leaders.” As for regrets junior Jamie Stewart says the only regret he has is, “not winning CIF’. Number 66 Zack Barsky “would like to play one more game as a squad”, and says his favorite memory was “passing league at Stanford”. Coach Shevlin, affectionately known at “Shev” is the Athletic Director at ESHS and has been the Varsity Football head coach since the 1994-1995 season.  Coach Shevlin answered some of my questions about the past season; here is what he had to say.

1.     What was the highlight of the 2012-2013 season? And why?

For sure the highlight of the season was making the playoffs and beating La Puente in the first round.

 Which game do you believe the boys worked especially hard at?

I truly believe the boys worked hard for every game, but that 2nd round playoff game they really gave everything they had to win that game.

       2.     What did you think when you heard the team made CIF after all?

Making CIF helps validate all the work these kids put into the offseason and summer. I think we were all very excited to make playoffs and represent ES.

       3.     What was the most disappointing event that happened this season?

For me, without a doubt the injuries to our players. Daniel Zeman, Seth McKenna, Justin Lacey, and Connor Underwood were very serious injuries that our team and coaches had to rally around and keep the season going.

       4.     What could the boys have done to change it?

Not a thing, the kids laid everything they had and as a staff, we could not have been more proud of their effort.

       5.     Since it is the second season playing on the new field, has the team completely adjusted to the new turf?

I believe so.

       6.     Football practice is practically year-round, with strength training for next season starting already and summer break practically all preparation for the coming season. Would you like to see the football season last longer?

No, I truly believe kids should be able to play multiple sports and activities and after football season they need time away to rest and be away from the grind of football

       7.     If you had any advice to the seniors what would it be?

Thank you. I have been honored to coach all of you and I hope the lessons taught through football and this coaching staff can be carried with you for a lifetime.

 If you have any advice to the boys who will play for ESHS next year what would it be?

Let’s get ready to rock, truly commit yourself and success will follow. No Excuses.

Conditioning for the 2013-2014 season starts in just 4 months. We will all enjoy watching you take the field. Good luck to all the seniors who are leaving this year, and we hope you will look back at your ESHS football experience with great memories.




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