St Rita played in the sixth CYO Championship Football game in the school’s history and unfortunately came up on the short end again. The 28-0 loss was to Holy Family of South Pasadena, who finished second to the Raiders in conference play. In league, the Raiders finessed their way to victory over the Knights, but this time Holy Family decided to stick to their physical brand of football and the Raiders couldn’t match up.
The loss temporarily dims the glow of an outstanding season, but it is a condition that surely won’t last. The boys will soon remember that they were the second best team out of the 130 in the Archdiocese. They will know that they were league champions and that they had a 16 game winning streak. They will take pride in the fact that defeated a number of bigger and faster teams. Mostly, though, they will know that they played with passion and pride and never quit believing that they could win.
From the Coach: A number of people said they wanted to see me win that game and get that elusive CYO Football Championship. As a coach, I would surely loved to have won that game and claimed the championship, but I don’t measure my successes in those types of things. I get my greatest pride from watching our athletes succeed in high school and college. I love to have former athletes come back and tell me of the great job they have and of their wonderful spouses and children. In the end, I hope that their experience has given them a few tools to help them become better parents and citizens. Maybe experiencing a little disappointment, like this game, and having to overcome some challenges on the field will help them deal better with those things in life.
I wanted to win this game mostly because I wanted to see the boys accomplish something for which they worked so hard. To me, my reward though was looking up in the stands to see so many supporters. Parents were there to see their sons play. Classmates were their for their brothers and friends. Faculty and staff came to support their students and their school. Monsignor Richard, in his own time of difficulty, came to provide support to all of us. Former players came back to see if we could pull off the win this time. The fact that so many people cared what happened in this game, because they loved this program and this school, was my victory.
I have loved working with these kids. Every day of the season was fun for me, from practice to games. I owe a special debt of gratitude to Jim Nelson and Eddie Howard for their tireless hours of coaching with me. I don’t trust my kids to just anyone, but these are two fine men. Thanks also to our parents for driving to games and giving such unending support. It has been a special season! On to Basketball!