This past Saturday, the Thacher football team, ranked 8th in the State, took on Lucerne Valley at home for their second round game of CIF playoffs.
The team played well and fought hard through the entirety of the game, yet Lucerne Valley maintained a steady lead throughout. The game included great interceptions by team captain Momo Lewis ‘14, and touchdowns by Lukas Cesena ‘15, Lewis, and Ben Yih ‘15.
Quarterback John Carey ‘15 said, “We grew a lot as a team, and we definitely grew very close as a family. Despite the loss, we ended the season well.”
With 1 minute and 14 seconds left, Head Coach Jeff Hooper put each senior on the field to finish off the season, ending the game 20-36. At the end of game, Coach Hooper reflected:
“The game was a sad one as this has been a really fun season with a really cohesive, committed team and we all hated to see it end. It was a day in which we had some bad breaks that the other team took advantage of. That’s the way it goes sometimes, but we coaches are very proud of how the team competed and the example provided by our seniors.”
Though an emotional two hours, the Toads finished the season gracefully and with amazing sportsmanship. At the end of the game, it was obvious that there was great support from the coaches and each member of the team, displaying the amazing sense of friendship among this group.
Captain Reed Gulick-Stutz ‘14 said of the team:
“In my life, I have never felt a greater sense of camaraderie on any sports team than that of Thacher football. The way Coach Hooper runs the team is truly extraordinary; by putting such high levels of responsibility in the seniors, he allows the team to develop and grow on its own into what naturally becomes a family.”’
The amount of sincere encouragement between these boys was a huge factor during the season. As Stutz simply put it, “I loved every moment of this year’s football season.” Though the Toads are leaving the Condor League, they truly have left behind their mark of skill, hard work, and incredible senior leadership.
Though the entire school is sad to see the season end, we look forward to seeing the team grow in the 2014 season.