By Andrew Bagnard
Led by head coach Ric Flores, the JV football team has started the season with a record of 3-1 so far this year. They are determined to continue their success throughout the remainder of the season, according to sophomore wide receiver Parker Schoop, “If we keep up the hard work and intensity, I believe that we can finish our season dominating the majority of our opponents. It all depends on the amount of effort our team brings during practice.”
The JV team started off the season with a 49-0 win at home against the Highland Bulldogs on Thursday, Sept. 3. Sophomore starting running back Dakota Smith ran for four touchdowns against Highland, and the Cubs scored two defensive touchdowns. The following week on Thursday, Sept. 10, the Cubs traveled several hours through Los Angeles traffic to take on the St. Augustine Saints in San Diego. The Cubs came out on top with a score of 20-7. The JV squad then traveled to Salesian High School on Thursday, Sept. 17, where they beat the Mustangs 41-6. Dakota Smith ran for four touchdowns while sophomore starting quarterback Tommy Vanis added one passing touchdown.
Although this year’s team consists of only 46 players, compared to last year’s freshman squad of 108, the Cubs are still working persistently and efficiently in practice. Sophomore quarterback Jimmy McGinnis said, “We really started going further into our offensive and defensive schemes–more plays, getting more involved, and changing it up by incorporating a higher tempo offense.”
JV football head coach Ric Flores said, “We work on playing as a Cub football team–smart, aggressive players who are strong ‘hitters.’”
Last year the JV football team finished their season with a 5-5 record. This year the JV team is completely different, not only regarding personnel, but also with their philosophy, according to McGinnis. He said, “[This year] We have grown as a team, and we are really working together this season.”
Tommy Vanis and Dakota Smith have been standouts so far this season, according to teammates Jimmy McGinnis and Parker Schoop. Tommy is both the starting quarterback and a starting linebacker; Dakota is the starting running back and a starting defensive lineman. Both Vanis and Smith have spent time practicing and suiting up for games with the varsity team. Schoop said, “Dakota Smith and Tommy Vanis are playing very well right now. Working out with the varsity team has helped them a lot with getting faster and stronger.”
Jimmy McGinnis said,“Two players that have really stood out to me are Dakota Smith and Tommy Vanis. Dakota has had seven touchdowns in only two games: He’s really our star. Tommy is the starting quarterback and a starting linebacker.”
On Sept. 26 the Cubs fell at home to Serra High School by a score of 2-21.
Next week, the Cubs will travel to play against Chaminade High School. After that, the JV squad will play host to Crespi.
The Cubs have not been specifically preparing for one opponent, according to coach Ric Flores. He said, “Every game is a big game. Obviously, when we start league games, they mean even more.” The Cubs will then play an away game at Alemany, a home game against Notre Dame, and finish the season away at Bishop Amat.
The Cubs are determined to not only finish the season beating the rest of their opponents and winning the Mission League, but also to develop into a strong junior class, according to Vanis. He said, “Our goals this season are to win the remainder of our games and to win league; but I think more importantly to grow and develop into a great junior class that will be successful at the varsity level.”
After a 3-1 start, the JV football team’s primary goal is to work together on becoming a Cub football team. Beyond that, the Cubs hope to be crowned the Mission League champions this year.