In recent years, high school football at La Cañada has been nothing to write home about. A seemingly endless streak of disappointing seasons has plagued our school’s football program for the past decade. This season, however, is looking to be an entirely different story. For the first time since 2014, the Spartans have rattled off three consecutive victories to open up the season, instilling hope for the rest of the season.
The first win came in a 17-14 nailbiter against the Wilson High School Wildcats. After being completely neutralized in the first half, the Spartans tightened up on defense and scored two major touchdowns to overcome an 11 point deficit.
The next two games would not be as close. In the game following their opening week triumph, the Spartans would thrash the Glendale High School Nitros 33-3. The Spartans’ uncompromising defensive front smothered the Glendale offense, ripping the Nitros’ gameplan to shreds.
In the Spartans’ most recent matchup against the Viewpoint School Patriots, La Cañada’s punishing aerial assault and complementary run game sliced up the opposing defense all night long for a final score of 35-6.
But what is the cause of this unprecedented success for a team who had only won a single game in the past two seasons? The players all seemed to hone in on two things: chemistry and attitude.
“The past few years we’ve had kinda had toxic teams,” said receiver Walker Baggett (12), “but this year we’re bonding really well and this year it feels like a real family.”
The whole team, seemed to be in agreement. The dysfunction of years past that may have even been the primary cause of such lackluster performances seemed to have disappeared.
Running back Mario Colon (12) had similar thoughts, adding, “Our chemistry is really good, way better than any other year, and we’re finally fighting together as a team.”
This chemistry has shown on the field, as every positional unit seems to be in harmony and communicating with both the coaches and the other players. Moving together as a unified team is crucial to the Spartans’ success, especially down the line when games become more and more meaningful each week.
Yet, to me, the biggest change that I have seen in this year’s football squad is a major improvement in attitude and mentality. Every single player on the roster is ready to work hard, buy in, and give everything for the team.
“We’re never looking backwards, we’re always looking forwards,” said standout running back Jacob Hardy (11). “It doesn’t matter if we’re 0-3 or 0-0, each week it’s either win or lose […] so all we can do is practice like we’re playing against Bosco (St. John Bosco, number two ranked team in the nation).”
Taking each game one week and one win at a time seems to be a fundamental building block for the team moving forward in the season. Practicing hard as if each game was a national championship is the primary motivation to win every game.
Receiver Dezin Delgatty (11) continued, saying, “Each week we try to go 1-0 and so far we’ve done that and I feel like our victories are coming from our new coaching staff and also our hard work.”
The humility and dedication that head coach Jason Sarceda has instilled into his team have translated into a tight-knit family and an undefeated start to an exciting season for Spartan football.
“I’m hopeful,” said quarterback Brandon Reese (10), “We’re excited for what’s to come and I think we’re gonna be ready.”