WSL ATHLETICS FOOTBALL PREVIEW 2021 & WEEK 3 PREVIEW
WSL Athletics Week 2 Review, Week 3 Preview: Aztecs Snap the Streak, Firebaugh shutout Fowler
WSL Athletics Scoreboard Week 2
Dos Palos Broncos 21 Kerman Lions 7
McFarland Cougars 18 Tranquillity Tigers 8
Mendota Aztecs 29 Immanuel Eagles 6
Coalinga Horned Toads 27 Templeton Eagles 6
Firebaugh Eagles 35 Fowler Redcats 0
Avenal vs. Farmersville (Cancelled)
WSL Athletics Week 3 Schedule
McFarland Cougars vs. Coalinga Horned Toads (Cancelled due to McFarland going through COVID Protocol)
Avenal Buccaneers vs. Sierra Pacific Golden Bears (Original opponents Parlier Cancelled)
Roosevelt Rough Riders vs. Firebaugh Eagles at Sunnyside Stadium
Mendota Aztecs vs. Orange Cove Titans
The Coalinga Toads are led by No 50 Nick Vega, No 5 Chase Milligan and No 4 QB Jett Garcia
Le Grand Bulldogs vs. Tranquillity Tigers (Cancelled due to COVID Protocol and backups are not ready at this time statement from the AD)
Dos Palos Broncos Bye Week
Dos Palos hosted the Kerman Lions in their home opener after their thrilling nail-biting win over rival Los Banos in the Westside War. The Lions came in after their opening week loss to Kennedy so they continued their road trip down the 180 and into Merced County to try corral and tame the Broncos. After Kerman got on the board first, Dos Palos responded and they responded well and racked up 21 unanswered points as the Broncos in the end did the taming and sending Kerman back home with their 2nd straight loss. Dos Palos goes into their early bye week at 2-0 after the 21-7 victory.
Tranquillity finally officially began their season with their home opener against McFarland after their previously scheduled was cancelled so it was the Battle of jungle predators between the Cougars and Tigers. It was good close game but in the end McFarland came out on top 18-8. Tranquillity will be off this week as their game against Le Grand was cancelled due to COVID Protocols and not having enough available players on roster to play according to a statement given out by the Athletic Director.
Mendota entered their home opener coming off a dominant win over Minarets 58-18 after their previously scheduled opponent Yosemite cancelled due to COVID Protocols. The Aztecs were in search of the 2nd win of the season and to finally end a 4-year losing streak against The Immanuel Eagles out of Reedley. Immanuel was coming in under first year head coach Josh Henderson and longtime Senior QB Hector Davila to lead the way into hopefully a 5th straight victory against the Aztecs of Mendota. Well the defense for Mendota as well as their depth in players seemed to be all they needed as well as two rushing touchdowns by Mendota’s running back Chris Mejia as the Aztecs snapped their long losing streak with a 29-6 victory.
Interview with Immanuel Head Coach Josh Henderson
KR: First impressions of matchup against Beto Mejia and Mendota as well as the game plan?
JH: The game plan was to come in and play within our identity, to have discipline, to be tough, and to be physical. I think we accomplished many of our goals, And also made many mistakes that our normal in your first game and our roster size is limited and extremely proud of the tremendous effort that our young men played with tonight so I think there’s a lot of wins for us which one of them unfortunately wasn’t the scoreboard, but there was a lot of things we can look at on the bright side and that includes the heart of our players and there’s a lot to clean up but I think this game will make a difference for us.
KR: What was your reaction to earning the job at Immanuel, and what was the first practice like?
JH: When I came down to interview for the job, the community love and support of Immanuel was one of the strongest selling points. When I started coaching with the team we started with a camp and what stood out was the heart of the players and the leadership from the seniors led by QB Hector Davila but the character stands strong and you saw on the field tonight and again the challenge is our roster size but we have a common faith in Jesus Christ that bonds us together and as a Christian school we can really focus on that and we have guys who are tough and committed and wish we can get more out there.
KR: Halftime message to the team?
JH: we told them to do what we do, we’re building a culture, building a brand and it’s an all-out physical brand and anyone out here tonight saw that our guys played with heart and soul for All four quarters and that’s all we ask of them
KR: What’s the game plan against your next opponent as you aim to earn your first win for the team and your first win as the new HC?
JH: I think that the biggest takeaway tonight is that we have a game on film as we only played half a scrimmage and right now our greatest opponent is ourselves really right now you got to know yourself and know who you are and what you do and tonight gives us the opportunity. Our next game is Fowler but our focus right now is on as we’re 3 weeks into the system.
Interview with Mendota Aztecs Head Coach Beto Mejia
KR: Immanuel coming in with a new head coach and you coming off the win over Minarets. How did you feel the team did tonight?
BM: We learning how to be disciplined, we have junior and seniors on the team but only playing two games during the spring season you can see the difference. We played better and the goal is to get better every week the competition was better than last week but that’s nothing against Minarets. When we saw Immanuel, we saw a very well-coached team and disciplinedteam. Immanuel played tough and our depth got the best of them.
KR: Halftime Message to the team? How to bounce back from injuries?
We have injuries to key players and are real thin at secondary and the guys stepping up are ready to step up and play. We’re missing Devon Murphy who’s a key guy on the team on offense and few others who are down injured and it’s about accountability to work harder and understanding about overcoming injuries and everyone on the team knows it.
KR: How did it feel to snap a 4-year losing streak against Immanuel? And what’s the game plan against Orange Cove?
BM: It’s kind of hard to prepare because of the situation and be ready for whatever happens. Orange Cove I’m sure they’re bringing a tough group of kids and for whatever reason why it’s been so long since we last played them so when they reached out to me I accepted and I’m not the kind of guy to say no to any team that wants to play us. now that there’s no more divisions back then when there was I would have played against Division 6 teams and such as we were formerly in Division 6 and now it’s that you just got to get a team on your schedule and make it work and see how we respond to the challenge and for tonight I’m just going to work on uploading film and enjoying our win then come back for weights the next day.
KR: Any players that showed up and led the team tonight?
BM: Our QB Juan Ceja struggled a bit but made key plays, Chris Mejia our running back is a tough kid, a kid who’s fearless and refuses to go down and he’s a fun kid to coach and is respectable and did well. Jovanni Nunez did well on defense and told us coaches he can do the job and he did the job.
KR: As you know I write for Pagmeter and he had you winning by only 3 and he was wrong, what’s your reaction?
BM: I don’t really pay attention to any predictions. I work hard and learned not to care about it as well as respecting the game, understand what it takes to be competitive. And that’s not cheating the game. I know my team and I know my coaches, Nick does a good job and gets people mad at him when he makes his picks and people take offense to it. and to be honest with Andy Boogaard no longer at the Fresno Bee so Nick is the only dude really covering high school sports around the valley It doesn’t bother me so Nick do me the favor if you’re going 2-0 so far picking us then make us win all out and he may be wrong about the score but not about us winning.
Coalinga is starting off on the right foot under new head coach Jose Piz and it started off with their opening statement win against Caruthers so they came back home to host Templeton and well the dominant job they did against Caruthers continued against Templeton with a 27-6 victory. They will be on an off week due to their opponent McFarland going through COVID Protocols.
Firebaugh flew high and above last week as they kicked off their season at home hosting the El Capitan Gauchos out of Merced and well from the start they lit up the field and the scoreboard as they took care of it 55-8. They made their first stop of their road trip this week against the Redcats of Fowler and well the dominant performance from last week carried over this week as they went back-to-back keeping Fowler off the board with a 35-0 victory and will now head off to Fresno to take on Roosevelt over at Sunnyside Stadium.
WSL Athletics vs. The Pagmeter Predictions, Through 2 Weeks both WSL Athletics & The Pagmeter are 9-1. Note: Coalinga and Tranquillity left out this week due to COVID Protocol with either their program or the visiting program.
Roosevelt Rough Riders (0-2) vs. Firebaugh Eagles (2-0) at Sunnyside Stadium
WSL Athletics picks Firebaugh by 7; The Pagmeter picks Roosevelt by 4
Mendota Aztecs (2-0) vs. Orange Cove Titans (1-1)
WSL Athletics & The Pagmeter picks Mendota by 48
Avenal Buccaneers (1-0) vs. Sierra Pacific Golden Bears (0-1)
Note: game was put together on Monday due to both opponents having cancellations with previously scheduled opponents.
WSL Athletics pick Avenal by 3; The Pagmeter picks Sierra Pacific by 2
Divisional Rankings through Week 2
#3 Dos Palos Broncos
#4 Mendota Aztecs
#10 Coalinga Horned Toads
#13 Firebaugh Eagles
#1 Avenal Buccaneers
#13 Tranquillity Tigers
Kevin Arias-Romero, Editor-in-Chief, WSL Athletics.GO BULLDOGS!!! BEAT THE DUCKS!!!
I hope you all stay safe, healthy and happy as we embark on another football season. Good luck to all teams and coaching staffs and as always GO FRESNO STATE, BEAT THE DUCKS!!