Sports at LCHS is and has always been an all-encompassing part of our culture, with students, teachers and parents all getting extremely excited before all of the games. At the games themselves, we point to the “splash zone” at basketball games, and the uproarious support at water polo games to showcase the love everyone a part of LCHS has for our sports. However, looking at LC Football, it is clear that our support has clearly been lacking, with constant jokes and complaints being thrown at our team. But is this criticism well placed, and more importantly, well received? I think not.
Looking at our win-loss records over the past years certainly seems to give weight to the critics’ arguments. Some critics think that, given our “student pool” and our “history,” we simply have no chance of ever achieving success on the field. However, these critics ignore the idea that, although cliche, there is merit to be found in the mentality that “hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard” (Tim Notke). Furthermore, our team isn’t going to get any better if we keep putting them down and ignoring the work that they are putting in. Last year, LC Football had a record of 5 wins and 4 losses, a large improvement from past endeavors, and this year they look to continue that trend.
La Canada football players spend roughly twelve and a half hours training or playing each week, with three hour practices on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This amount of dedication is comparable to practically every other La Canada sport, and exceeds many of them in terms of workload. Do we really expect our players to take constant verbal abuse, and still wake up the next day to train?
Admittedly, La Canada Football hasn’t always been the best of programs, but that doesn’t mean that our players aren’t working hard everyday to get better. The excessive amount of hours and training the players have put in shows that they are. Even if we aren’t seeing immediate results, we should give credit where credit is due, and recognize the blood, sweat and tears our football team has poured into their game.
The list of commendable qualities doesn’t stop there. New head coach Jay Sarceda stated, “When you join football, you find a family. We’ll support your growth both physically and emotionally, all the way. We’re focusing on unity and working to re-establish the culture of LC football.”
These players and coaches are working hard for our sake. They want to make the LC football program something to be proud of. They want our athletic program to be praised, they want us to look at them with pride. Doesn’t this mindset deserve our respect and support through all endeavors, good or bad? These football players are sacrificing for us, and it’s time for us to give back and support.
In criticizing the football team for their record, we ignore all the other aspects that come along with joining the team. Football players grow, both emotionally and physically, regardless of wins or losses.
As Eugene Hong (11), a current varsity player revealed, “Since I joined football in freshman year, I’ve really developed into someone else. I’ve learned how to work hard, I’ve learned how to lead, I’ve learned discipline, but most importantly I’ve found myself a family. Every day and every week, I have something to look forward to.”
Eugene isn’t the only one. Alumni from past years have expressed gratitude for the growth that LC Football has provided them. Clearly, to these players, football was more than just a win-loss record, and it should be that way for us as well.
Through thick and thin, LC football will always be our football team, and they deserve our support every step of the way.