Full Moon good omen for JV Dons Football

Thanks to Meredith Brace for sharing!!!
Written by a mom who “couldn?t care less” about football

As the mother of a SBHS Junior Varsity Football player, I?ve taken notice that only Varsity level sports are reported in the media. The JV team worked so hard on Friday night that I felt they deserved a recap. The game was one that will be remembered by its spectators for years to come.

Even by me and that?s saying something because I?m really not that interested in football. In fact I couldn?t care less.

Santa Barbara High JV Football

Santa Barbara High’s Junior Garcia (22) blocks after quarterback Bolden Brace (2) hands off the ball to Sean Babcock (5) in a game against Rio Mesa. (Photos by Sandy Echternaught)

But when your son decides to go out for the team, you can?t just sit at home and wait with dinner hot on the stove. No, you go to the game and cross your fingers that he won?t get hurt.

My M.O. has been to sell Donswear at the home games and chit-chat away with this, that, and the other person, not paying much attention to the game. But the ASB had already planned to have a booth with items to sell as well as the Alumni group (headed by Uber SBHS volunteer Gloria Cavallero ?72) and Athletic Director Joe Chenoweth decided we?d wait until the next home game to sell our stuff.

Without a volunteer job, I figured I?d sit in the stands and actually watch part of the game. I thought maybe I?d stay for one or two quarters. Besides, Reserved Section ticket checker Susie Harris aka the Scary Substitute loves the company. My husband, being the ?Al Bundy? of SBHS Football class of 1982, was in his element up in a booth taking stats, surrounded by his longtime football buddies Jaime Melgoza, Paul Nicholson, and Kirk Reed, as well as his new football friends and parents of other JV players like Maddox Rees, Mike and Pat Kelley, Ruben Soto, Brian and Lisa Babcock and Amy Travis, among others.

I?ve never written a sports column nor did I take notes during the game. All I know is it was action packed for both teams so that made it somewhat interesting. On defense, 18 players were involved in tackles or assisted in tackles, with #18 Angel Perez leading with 12 (which brings his season total to 21)! #22 Junior Garcia and #60 Andrew Lopez followed with eight each, #51 Sebastian Elizando with seven, and on down. One thing the boys agreed they need to work on is sacking the quarterback, so I guess that means that since there weren?t any sacks, the Rio Mesa offensive line really made it hard for that to happen.

Santa Barbara's Hugo Ronces slows down a Rio Mesa rusher

Santa Barbara’s Hugo Ronces slows down a Rio Mesa rusher

I played Powder Puff football in college. (I never said I didn?t like playing the sport, it?s just sitting there as a spectator that bores me). My biggest thrill was catching a long pass, but the ultimate thrill has got to be making an interception. The JV Dons intercepted the ball three times (apparently it is called a ?pick?). And two of those were by the same player, #15 Porter Rees. And you had to love the size of the grin on his face when it happened, whether or not he was able to gain any yards after catching the ball. That was one happy young man! (And of Porter?s six tackles BTW, one of them was a hit so ?Big? that the entire stadium could hear the crunch). The third ?pick? (I?ll try to get used to that term) was caught by #7 Mason Bigelow, bringing his season total of picks to two. On Mason?s pick he ran the ball back for 25 yards! Even more impressive was that the intended Rio Mesa receivers were close to four inches taller than both Porter and Mason.

#28 Anthony Jimenez and #5 Sean Babcock each successfully ?broke? the pass of Rio Mesa?s QB. I?ll let you figure out what that means. I think I know.

In offense, #2 Bolden Brace had a great game. He found his receivers 18 times out of 23, ending up with 288 yards in passing. He also tallied up 65 yards rushing! Six TDs were scored by the Dons in all. Bolden threw for five TDs and passed off the ball to Sean who ran it into the end zone for a TD. #33 Hugo Ronces, who Bolden played club soccer with in sixth grade, just knew how to find the open grass (actually my husband said it that way after he heard someone else say it that way and I liked how it sounded).

Santa Barbara's Angel Perez shakes off would-be tacklers against Rio Mesa.

Santa Barbara’s Angel Perez shakes off would-be tacklers against Rio Mesa.

Hugo led in receptions with a total of nine for 207 yards! He also made three of the TD?s. After each TD, Hugo, as the team?s field goal kicker, then had the pressure of having to kick the ball for the extra point between the big poles! Sean (16 yards receiving and 66 yards rushing), Mason (22 yards), and Junior (43 yards) followed with three receptions each. The two other TDs were scored by Junior and Mason.

Then there were those three TD?s that didn?t count! What the heck? The fans were going crazy! Apparently some of our players just have to remember where to be at the line of scrimmage as the ball is being hiked. They?re young, they?ll learn. Probably work on that this week.

JV Coach Udy Loza was ecstatic, and proud of the boys. Every time I?ve listened in on one of his short talks with the boys he comes across as stern but fair. JV parents know how lucky we are to have Udy at the helm of this learning experience that our boys are being given. On a side note, Udy graciously waited for his ?after game talk? for Junior to strip down to his undershirt which had ?Will you go with me? on the backside and ?to Homecoming? on the front written for his girlfriend to see. Very cool. Flowers included.

There are 33 boys on the roster and I know only a few were mentioned. But let us not forget that it takes all 33 to make things happen. I also noticed at least five kids on the sidelines with injuries, so let?s hope they get better soon.

The final score was 39-32 and brings our non-league record to 1-2. Now it?s on to Bakersfield next week. The JV Football team added a level of confidence to their spirits that can only be earned at games like the one on Friday night .

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