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UC Football Wins Homecoming, Dominates League

Senior+Marcel+Patterson+shedding+a+block+from+a+Serra+receiver.
Senior Marcel Patterson shedding a block from a Serra receiver.

Senior Marcel Patterson shedding a block from a Serra receiver.

Mina Orlic

Mina Orlic

Senior Marcel Patterson shedding a block from a Serra receiver.

Kayli Sandoval, News Editor

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   Recovering from a 6-6 season and losing in the second round of playoffs, this year’s UC High Football Team put in the work during pre-season, resulting in a successful first half of this ‘17 season. “We have been working towards [long and short term] goals since the beginning of summer. Having practice every day and creating a great bond between the team will help us achieve the goals we have set,” explained Junior Wide Receiver Casey Granfors.

   The team is currently 7-1, playing a spread offense, resulting in 210.0 receiving yards per/game, which is well over the national average. According to an official high school sports statistics website, they have a total of 36 touchdowns, 134.6 rushing yards p/g, 56.6 tackles p/g, 16 sacks, and 10 interceptions (maxpreps.com). Senior Middle Linebacker Jake Jones said their short-term goals consist of going 1-0 each week and then focusing on the next game, trying not to get too ahead of themselves.

   Sophomore Starting Quarterback Gunnar Gray implied that being able to throw the ball more in a spread offense and shotgun formation is beneficial and crucial to their consecutive wins. “Our biggest strength I would say is probably our offensive passing game. We have great receivers and a quarterback that can get the ball to us,” stated Granfors.

   When it comes to defense, according to Senior Cornerback Tiago Quantz, this year they’re playing more of a four-back set instead of a three-back, although they still play both. As a result of using a four-back set, the team is playing more zone defense than man defense, but when they do play man, they don’t let up on anything. Jones added, “All the pressure starts with the D line — the four big men up front.”

   Similar to most teams, their long-term goal is to go all the way — first to win league and then to become the first team to take home a CIF title for football in our school’s history. Granfors said, “The mindset of the team and the commitment we have is much different than last year. We all have the same goals, and we are all committed to doing what it takes to reach those goals, and that’s what has lead us to a great start this season.” Junior Running Back and Linebacker Elonie Rico assured, “At practice, we come out trying to work hard every day. We’re always hyped and working hard.” Jones added that, in order to achieve their goals, they follow the aforementioned attitude stated by Rico.

   Being able to work together is another asset that can make or break a team and help take them far. Any player on a great team knows the importance of team cohesiveness. Being able to build friendships, both on and off the field, and applying that connection during games helps the whole team click, which is vital. “Our team cohesiveness has changed from last year a lot, because this year, we hang out more and we do more things together. There’s already closer friendships on this team than last year. We care more about winning this season. As a team, we’re more open to getting hyped,” Jones insisted. When a team becomes a family, they become more successful.

   As stated by Granfors, currently the team’s biggest weakness is their penalty flags. The team has received many flags, which results in the opposing team having a better field position.

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UC Football Wins Homecoming, Dominates League