by Elodia Honigstein
The homecoming game is a chance for a school to unify, rally, and boost school spirit while rooting for a common goal in a fun game. Before East Valley and Science Academy’s homecoming game on September 23rd against Esteban Torres High School, many preparations were made to make this game an event to remember. Cars were decorated and cheers were practiced to ensure that the energy was heightened for the game.
During an interview with the cheerleading coach, Jennifer Secaida, she relayed that the cheerleaders had been nervous in the time before the game; however, they were plenty excited by starting time. They had extra practices due to many of the previous girls graduating last year, so that they would be well prepared for exhibiting maximum school spirit. The cheerleaders were a constant boost of Falcon spirit, shouting and interacting with the audience throughout the game and encouraging all to let loose and enjoy themselves.
The East Valley football coach, Luis Zuniga, reported before the game that two of the team’s best players had been injured, requiring many adjustments to be made to their starting line-up. Players were put in unfamiliar positions, and so it was a time of experimentation. He said that the team was very excited about the game and were hopeful of a win.
During the Game
East Valley kicked off to start the game, giving it to Torres for the first snap. Within two minutes, the Torres managed to get a touchdown, gaining 8 points for their team. A couple of plays later, East Valley player #22 was injured and had to be taken out of the game via a wheelchair. The Falcons proceeded to advance quickly and efficiently, winning a touchdown of 6 points; however, soon another player #11 got injured.
After another touchdown by Torres in the second quarter for 6 points, the Falcons manage to rebound with a score of their own, bringing the score to 14-20, with the Torres ahead at the half.
During the halftime parade, various cars drove around the field filled with students who were all inspired by their school and the associated sports. One car was dedicated to the East Valley homecoming candidates, while another featured the Science Academy candidates. There was a car dedicated to the women’s soccer team, along with other clubs and teams here at our school.
In the third quarter, the Torres scored a touchdown, bringing the score to 14-28, with the Falcons losing yet another player, #15. The air was thick with hope and anticipation, and everyone was waiting to see if the Falcons could come back from this deficit. The Torres get another touchdown, but the Falcons turned right around and scored one of their own, making the score 20-34, Torres.
Finally, in the 4th quarter, there was one more injury, to player #1. The game came to an end with a pivotal fumble made by the Falcons, leading to the Torres picking it up and running off with it, gaining another touchdown for the scoreboard. The final score ended up being 20-42, with Torres winning. If the Falcons had not had that fatal fumble, there would have only been a touchdown between the two teams, and the Falcons would have had a chance to come back, just like they did in the first half. However, the Falcons will have other chances to beat the Torres.
During a post-game interview with the East Valley head football coach, Luis Zuniga, he stressed that the Falcons’ main concern moving forward is tackling and keeping healthy. It’s hard when guys get injured, he told his team, and they come up short, but they played with heart and that’s what matters. In the first half, the coach reports that the team felt good, as they were only a touchdown away; however, it was hard for the team when they lost their best players in the second half. He knows they will play the Torres again, and he’s confident that the Falcons will win next time.