Los Alamitos Pop Warner does the community proud on opening
By Mark Michaelsen
With a new stadium under construction there is an unusually high level of energy running through the Los Alamitos Pop Warner program this year. The teams wasted no time in getting down to business all over Southern California on opening weekend. Erick Jimenez’s Junior Mighty Mite came out and continued their winning ways from last season taking it to the San Clemente Red Tritons 34-0.
From Coach Jimenez: “The Junior Mity Mites team looked in mid-season form as they scored on their first three plays on offense and held the San Clemente Red Tritons to negative yards for the game.
Touchdowns or extra point scores by Isaiah Dorsey, Chauncey Sylvester, Aidan Houston, Aidan Chiles, Jeremiah Jimenez, and Kamar Gabourel showed the balance and talent this team has to win many more games. With a tough schedule ahead this team is poised to put on a great show on the field this season... “
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One level up at Mighty Mite the story was almost identical. Coach Kelly Schneider has worked very hard since August 1st to make sure this team would be fast and strong both physically and mentally. It paid off with an away game win 34-0 win over Hacienda Heights. The game started well when Aiden Gomez recovered an onside kickoff. Two plays later Jaxon Harley took it to the house with great blocking from the entire offensive line. Quarterback Evan Tomich added the extra point with a quarterback bootleg.
On the next series it was Aiden Gomes back to work with a key fumble recovery. Three plays later it was Evan Tomich’s turn to get the ball into the end zone again with a clean quarterback bootleg. Wide receiver Troy Michaelsen added the extra point with a reverse from running back Sam Vander Hill.
At the end of the 1st half Aiden Gomez was at it again with an uphill (You have to see this field) run for a 35 yard touchdown. Owen Tomich (Evan’s younger brother) punched in the extra point on a 26 power.
The second half proved just as prosperous in the points department with Owen Tomich taking the kickoff 60 yards for a touchdown. The head coach’s son Nate Schneider punched in the extra point.
The defense was just as tenacious. First year player Gibby Ruffridge wasted no time pouncing on a fumble to get the ball back for the Griffins. He has been a great addition to the team. Also new to the team this year cornerback Nick Gallegos was lock down and maintained perfect containment the whole game. In the middle and also new to our team “Macho Comacho” gave the Hacienda Heights reason to stay out of the middle as he made quick work of their offensive line and before long there was little interest in testing the core of our defensive line.
Malique Brown is also new to the team and is a huge (Literally) addition. He is one of our biggest players and while he has been playing offensive line, offensive coordinator Tyler Tomich plugged him in at running back and sent him over the right side of the line. Twelve yards later (and a first down) the defense wrestled him to the ground (It took four of them to get him down).
Everyone played extremely well and while I would like to recognize each player there are not enough column inches available to do so. We are back to work on Tuesday preparing for our next opponent. The quest for perfection never ends…
A level above Might Mite, Coach Daren DeLeon found a way to beat a very good Saddleback Valley team on Los Al Junior Pee Wee’s first road trip of the season.
In their first game of
the 2013 season, the Los Alamitos Pop Warner Junior Pee Wee team start the year
with a win against a very good Saddleback Valley Cougars. The two teams
had met the week before in a pre-season scrimmage, and the game promised to be
an even match between the two. Both teams brought a strong defensive
performance, testing their offensive games. The Griffins were first to score,
with a touchdown in the second quarter. The Cougars responded quickly by
running back the kickoff, ending the first half tied 6-6.
Aggressive ball handling and a meticulous fourth quarter offensive drive across most of the field earned the Griffins their second touchdown and an extra point with 2 minutes left on the clock. The Griffins were able to hold that lead, ending the game with a final score of 13 - 6.
The Pee Wee team also traveled to South Orange County to meet the older and stronger version of the Saddleback Valley Cougars. The 7PM night game meant that temperatures were more moderate and everyone likes to play under the lights. Head Coach Todd Vander Hill’s team had little to worry about as they romped Saddleback Valley 26-0.
Yet another step up in size and speed found the Junior Midget Blue team led by head coach Tim Loya facing the Cypress Centurions. This battle for the local bragging rights left little doubt that the progressive spread option offense the Los Alamitos runs is the new wave for even teams not yet in high school. It was dominant performance with Los Al Griffins Blue 22- Cypress 0.
We may not have the biggest league in Southern California but the opening week was a testament to the quality of the coaching and diligent work since day 1 (August 1st)) this season. Thank you to the coaches, players and supportive parents for representing our area so well. It all starts over again next Saturday with games all over Southern California for the Los Alamitos Pop Warner Griffins. www.losalpopwarner.org Also on FACEBOOK at https://www.facebook.com/LosAlPW