Football wins Mesa-league

Clifford Kidd, Staff Writer

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Last Friday, November 4th our Crusader football team took on our neighboring school the Olympian Eagles, for a fight for the Mesa- League title banner. This league title game has been one the Crusader focuses this year, head coach, John Joyner states, “It feels great, a lot of people questioned whether or not we could handle the Mesa-league, but our boys were up to the challenge and we proved everyone wrong.” The Crusaders took on the challenge of moving to the Mesa-league and accomplished their goal of being league champs by defeating the Eagles Friday night 28-7.

Coming into the game the Crusaders were relaxed and cool, treating this game as every other game.  Chris Jones, senior quarterback stated “No we are not nervous for the game, it is just another game for us. We are excited, it is a big opportunity for us and the school. To prepare we will continue practicing hard, and going in to the game with the mentality that we are going to win and playing like we are going to win.”

The Crusaders prepared for this thrilling game by treating every game with the same importance. Coach Joyner adds about their weekly preparation, “We didn’t change anything; we tried to be as consistent as possible and try to keep all the game as important and not change our routine.”

When asked the players how they felt about the game, they had plenty to say.  Kyle Moses senior and defensive back said, “There was a lot of energy and tension on the field because the other team didn’t have respect for us so we had to earn our respect” The Crusaders came into the Mesa-league for their first time with a lack of respect from many teams, so the Crusaders had to come in and earn their respect and make their presences known in the Mesa-league.

Eli Shelton remembers one specific moment that woke the crowd and gained their respect, he recalls “When CJ Verdell ran up the middle and ran over Andrew Whyte #2 the linebacker for the Eagles that said CJ was not the real deal” There was plenty of tension on the field, Quentin Frazier senior and wide receiver says  “The energy was high, especially with the school being a local opponent it was an extra push for us to come out fired up shooting to be the champs of the southbay.”

With a league championship under their belt the crusaders plan to repeat what they did last year as state champs, but this year in division II. Quentin says, “It’s a good feeling to be league champs it was one of our goals at the beginning of the season but our ultimate goal is a repeat of CIF.” With all the newfound glory the Crusaders have earned on the field, CJ Verdell, senior running back reminds his team to, “Beat the odds, do numbers, and remain humble”.

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