Football Faces CIF Loss After Undefeated League Season


Jenny Won

Valerin celebrates alongside his teammates after a big defensive play. The Bulldogs defense was able to contain Capistrano Valley Christian to just 19 points and hopes to continue this dominant play throughout the CIF run to help propel the team’s dynamic offense to victory.

Simrat Singh and Jenny Won

The Bulldogs (10-2) fell short at South High School in a close 16-17 loss on Nov. 15, decided by a last-second score by South High. This ended their CIF journey which began with a 33-19 victory on Nov. 8 against Capistrano Valley Christian High.

“I think we’ve grown significantly not only as a team but a program. You see guys doing their jobs more consistently with confidence,” senior and co-captain Adrian Valerin said. “That comes from experience. Our coaches have done a great job this year putting the team in a position to win, week to week and that too has come with time and working with our personnel.”

After several years of struggle, the Bulldogs finished first place in league and qualified for CIF for the first time in the program’s four-year history. While the seniors were unable to end their high school career with a victory, they have worked to establish a lasting legacy for the football team, and a foundation to build upon.

“I try to remind the other seniors and myself included that we have no more guaranteed games, so we need to act like this is the last time we’re playing every game and also try to emulate that in practice,” wide receiver, safety, kick returner, kicker and senior Kaveh Wojtowich said. “Most of our team will never play tackle football again after high school, so we try to appreciate every second we can play and go as hard as we can for every rep in practice to make sure we don’t finish our senior season and high school careers on a loss.”

While Valerin, Wojtowich and the other seniors helped emphasize the importance of the CIF games to their younger teammates, ASB was able to create a strong presence at all the teams’ games, home or away to support their team.

“Walking around campus, kids are more lively; the teachers are more lively,” defensive coordinator Jimmy Welker said. “I think winning and winning the right way does something with school culture. Everybody, more kids, more people are attending our games because a buzz is going around our community, which is fantastic.”