Football Scores a Win at the Back-to-School Game


Ki Joon Lee

Juniors Dylan Chumm and Essa Khoso fix each other’s chin straps and tap helmets on the sidelines in preparation of yet another run out onto the field.

Nicholas Hung, Co-Business Manager

For the first time, students from all classes packed the Dog Pound on Aug. 30 to cheer on the varsity football team (3-1) as it emerged victorious 35-8 against the Santa Rosa Academy Rangers. 

The Bulldogs started strong and rode their momentum all the way to halftime with five touchdowns, allowing them to play a more defensive game in the second half. The team pushed the strongest in the first quarter, racking up four touchdowns in only twelve minutes. At their first home game of the year, the players were surely excited to show the crowd how hard they have been working since the end of last season.  

“Our expectations are set higher this year as coaches because we know what kind of talent we have,” defensive coordinator and quarterback coach Jim Welker said. “Our goal is to win the PCL and see if we can crack a chance at CIF.” 

At halftime, marching band debuted its new field show, “Closer to the Heart,” which featured a medley of songs by Canadian rock band Rush “Spirit of the Radio,” “Limelight” and the titular song, “Closer to the Heart.” The upbeat songs and addition of a full rock band in the forefront of the show hyped up the crowd and encouraged the team to continue its strong defense in the second half.

In the third quarter the Rangers managed to take one touchdown, but the Bulldog defense quickly stopped any advances after, ensuring a win. 

“It gives us more motivation if we play with people watching. We play for the people, and the people in the crowd are our family,” sophomore and defensive line Omar Valenzuela said. “We’re all Bulldogs; we’re all players. We play as a family. It doesn’t matter about our grade or age.”

After the game, spectators and team members alike celebrated the win in the Student Union at the back-to-school dance. 

“It’s my first game, so I wanted to get a true feel of what Portola is all about,” freshman Abhay Nori said. “You get to enjoy both being with friends and showing school spirit, which is great.”