Varsity football tries to regroup after four disappointing losses to start the season

Michael Thomas, Staff Writer

The varsity football team not only started its season with four disappointing losses, but suffered injuries of three key players in their game against Tokay (1-3), including linebacker Rex Hermano, quarterback Joey Rodriguez and cornerback Javon Moss.

Bear Creek’s (0-4) loss to the Tokay Tigers on Sept. 7 was particularly hard as the Bruins fielded a 40-6 lead at halftime but lost 56-55 in the final minutes of the game due to points gained by Tokay’s backup kicker Ruben Gomez. 

“It was as bad as it could have been in the first half,” Tokay coach Michael Holst said in an interview with “The Record.”

According to defensive line Mathew White, the three injuries played a huge role in Tokay’s sweeping comeback — particularly Hermano’s, who dislocated his shoulder while attempting a tackle, resulting in a 30 minute delay as he was taken off the field.

“Everything changed after the first half,” White said.  “[After] we lost players, the momentum changed.  We put our backup players in but they weren’t as good as during practice our core players were injured and the mood changed.”

Similar to Hermano, senior quarterback Joey Rodriguez also faced an injury, breaking his collarbone — forcing seniors Gabe Rodriguez and Marcos Tristan to take his place on the field as quarterback.

“I was nervous, this was my first game playing quarterback,” Tristan said.  “But I was already really into the game so I was more like ‘man let me get in.’”

With Bear Creek’s lead in the first half, many in the stands believed the game was won and left early, leaving the team to play without any of the crowd support for the second half.  

“We gave up on ourselves in a way,” linebacker Trey Cordoza, a junior, said.  “The game was already taking really long, and [by half] everyone thought we had already won.  We started getting lazy it was just downhill from there — we weren’t doing what we were supposed to.”

Defensive back Davey’on Phillips said the loss taught the team an important lesson.

Phillips said Head Coach Reggie Camp, although upset, told the team after the game that the loss was a test of their character.

“He said it was a lesson we needed to learn,” Phillips said.  Camp told the team that he knew they had it in them to play better next week — but the team suffered its third loss to East Union (3-1), losing 0-41 on September 6, and its fourth loss to Lincoln, losing 0-48 on September 13.