2013 Mission League Valley Champion

THANH MAI

Despite all its adversities, Rosemead High’s football team worked hard to reach this year’s Mission League Valley Championship. With an impressive point average of 34 points per game and eight consecutive victories, the Panthers have proven to be a fierce opponent.

Under the guidance of Head Coach Marc Paramo, Offensive Coordinator Patrick Ah-hing and many more coaches, the team started their training in April and put in a lot effort in a year-round practice. Supported by friends, teammates, and families, the Panthers trained in the weight room five days a week even in the summer and started their passing league early. The diligence of the team and coaches allowed them to become a true team, refining their teamwork. Now, Paramo says, rather than just playing for themselves, the tough team “plays together for the name in front of the jersey, not the name in the back. Our work and play are for our Panther pride.”

The team has made a huge comeback from its rough beginnings. At the start of the season the starting quarterback was injured, forcing the team to recruit a young and nervous freshman to take his place. With a new member and inexperienced team, the Panthers lost the first game of the season to Irvine High. After that loss, the determined coaches and players decided to put everything into the sport. After exciting matches and victories in games like their recent Homecoming match, the Panthers looked forward to this year’s championship game on their home field.

With both teams coming into the game with 8 win-streaks, the Panthers started off one of the most thrilling matches of the year next and neck with their top rivals, the Arroyo Knights. However, on Friday night, November 3rd, Rosemead’s win-streak was ended by Arroyo’s tough defense. After a long and nerve-wracking game, the game concluded with a 17-13 loss for the Panthers.

Rosemead started off the game with a full home stadium and cheers from a supportive audience. In the first quarter, they kicked off the ball to Arroyo and they started the game at the 20 yard line. Afterwards, both teams fought hard to stop each other and the play jumped back and forth before a single touchdown could be scored. The Panthers worked hard to stop the Knights but eventually their defense failed and the Knights quarterback managed to complete a 47-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter for a seven point lead. Afterwards, the Panthers ramped upped their offense. Despite managing to move up the field further, Panthers still ended the first quarter with Knights leading 7-0.

Rosemead got even at the start of the second quarter. The Panthers advanced to the forty yard line. After passing the ball and moving even further on the 2nd down by running out of bounds, they scored a short touchdown pass from quarterback sophomore Steven Nava to junior Michael Sahagun. They even get a pass after touchdown, allowing the score to become 7-7. The touchdown earned cheers and chants from the crowd as well as support from RHS Principal Keith Richardson, who ran down the field with the school flag to honor the touchdown. Rosemead then continued to try to advance across the field after punting the ball but fumbled, allowing Arroyo to get to the endzone again. With the Panthers unable to stop them, the Knights managed to score another touchdown with four minutes left of the 2nd quarter, changing the score to 14-7.

When the players came back from the break, they once again kicked off the ball to Arroyo but shortly managed to regain possession of the on their 20 yard line. After getting into Arroyo’s 20 with 8 minutes left of the third quarter, junior Stephen Cansino managed to kick a 35-yard field goal making the score 14-10.

Encouraged, the Panthers continued their strong play in the 4th quarter and senior Steven Rubaculva intercepted the ball. Determined to win, the Panthers advanced to Arroyo’s 20-yard again and eventually scored on a 16-yard field goal, pulling them even closer to the Knights with a score of 14-13.

Feeling the pressure, Knights took back possession of the ball and advanced to Rosemead’s 20-yard line. It was their turn for a field goal, increasing the score difference to four points again so Rosemead’s kicker wouldn’t be able to win the game.

With about two minutes left, Rosemead got the ball back to its own 20 and eventually even made it to midfield. However they were stopped on downs after a long pass on fourth down was dropped, ending the game.  After a long and suspenseful night, the final game score was 17-13, with the Panthers losing a heartbreaker.

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