The 2014 varsity football team prides themselves in emphasizing that they are a family: dedicated to working together in order to be victorious.
“We’ve been working as a family a lot,” senior Joaquin Quidachay said. “That’s always been our message: keep playing as a family. This year, compared to other years, is the closest we’ve ever been. I think that’s been the key to our success.”
An influential factor in overcoming their close games has been the incredible leadership by the seniors, who make up less of the team than the juniors. They continually attempt to instill drive and determination in the younger players.
“The best way I lead is by example,” Quidachay said. “If I just do the right thing, hopefully they can see that, and it will rub off on them. It’s a lot harder to do that when everyone is close in age, because you can’t exactly boss people around.”
Although it seems like they’re outnumbered, it doesn’t make much of a difference, because all things on the varsity squad are done in the same way: together.
“We’re not the biggest team out there,” Quidachay said, “but it’s also a good thing, because we’re not relying on one person to carry our whole team, we win as a family.”
Outside of the 56 varsity football players, there are also hundreds of fans in the stands who have an impact on the game.
“It’s the greatest feeling knowing we have them behind us,” senior Dakota Jones said. “When you’re on the field and you turn around and look up at the Red Sea, it’s the best feeling on earth.”
Jones takes excessive pride in this team, and as anyone who has seen the captions on his Instagram posts knows, he cares a lot about his teammates.
“This team means everything to me,” Jones said. “I’ve never been around a closer group of guys. They’re actually my family. I treat them all like they’re more of my brothers, even though I already have four actual brothers.”
So far this season, the team is 4-1, with those 4 victories occurring in the last 4 weeks against Escondido, Mira Mesa, Del Norte, and the last, most recent, homecoming game against San Pasqual. With these four victories, it’s encouraging for the team to know that there’s more room to excel.
“We haven’t played our best game yet,” Quidachay said. “We’ve been lacking the first half and coming back the second half. If we actually come together and play two halves of great football that we know we can do, I think we can do anything.”
It definitely is stressful for the fans when the score is 7-7 at halftime, but the coaches’ talks pulled the guys up enough to take over the game.
“We came out pretty strong in the first quarter against San Pasqual,” Quidachay said. “But our momentum kind of just died a little when they scored that first touchdown. We tend to slump over when someone scores. But during halftime coach talked to us, and he told us that we’re going to be fine.”
They came out second half fired up, and ended up beating San Pasqual 20-13. This also happened in the game against Mira Mesa a few weeks ago. Down 17-0 at halftime, they came back to win the game 28-23. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what changed the level of emotion, but whatever it was, it worked.
“We definitely seem to have more heart in the second half. After we get the first half nerves out, we settle down into just playing football and playing our sport. Then we get the job done.”
As for the rest of the season, the boys are optimistic. They’re determined to tackle whatever comes their way.
“I think we’re going to be pretty successful,” Davies said. “We all believe in each other, and we’re all a pretty tight network. If adversity faces us, we’re gonna push through it and get things done. We have a closer family bond this year than we’ve ever had before.”