Don Lugo Varsity Football’s not going down without a fight!

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Don Lugo Varsity Football’s not going down without a fight!

Valerie Torres, Diego Cruz, and Edward Lillie

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Don Lugo’s Varsity football team has fought through countless struggles, such as injuries and lack of energy on the field, culminating in a disappointing 1-6 season (0-2 in League). Game by game, Lugo has been able to put up good fights against their opponents but haven’t had the ability to capitalize when finishing games and have continued to come up short.

Over the past few weeks, Lugo was able to secure a win against California High after coming off of a bye week. Even though Steven Cabrera was still injured, being able to watch his team win made him overjoyed: “They worked really hard and they deserved it.” As the team hoped to carry the momentum following the win on senior night, they were suddenly hit by a big loss to Chaffey High losing 42-12, which was followed by a 21-14 loss to Ontario which was referred to as a “nail-biting” game.

One of the main factors that may have contributed to these losses is the fact that a lot of the team has been struggling to stay healthy. Team Captain, Branden Garcia, explained, “People don’t understand what we’ve been going through. We only have like 20 players while other schools have 50.” Their team is misunderstood because of injuries and suspensions, which have become a heavy burden, especially through the depth chart where one player may be playing multiple positions and causing fatigue.

People only ever see the score at the end of the day.”

— Branden Garcia

Injuries have been Lugo’s football season killer. Quarterback, Johnny Valdez is out with a shoulder injury, middle linebacker Branden Garcia broke his hand, Ben Chavez has a dislocated elbow, and Jason Garcia has a broken ankle. The injuries are taking its toll. After the long stressful game last Friday, in an act of anger and frustration, he punched a locker. His injury will require a cast and require him to sit out a game. Branden lamented, “It was very selfish on my part because now I can’t be there, to be with my guys and help them.” The boys agree that the lack of total players made injuries and missing players even more crucial.

Pink out game, Don Lugo vs Chaffey High School. Photographer Diego Cruz

The team still believes they will make CIF, these losses will not kill their morale, and when asked if their opinions from the last interview had changed now, they all agreed that it has not. All three boys that were interviewed say they they are ready to keep pushing and getting those wins, they are not going to give up. Player Branden Garcia is reported saying that the team is building from the broken pieces and getting ready to win. “I’m fired up, I’m ready. Ever since that injury, I’ve been wanting to play so bad”- Gary Garcia.

It’s not just about the game, it’s about being there for your team.”

— Gary Garcia

Although the team struggles on the field, the team and their brotherhood is still there and as strong as ever. This phoenix of a team is going to rise from the ashes to win and persevere. The team hopes to finish the season 4-6 and make it into CIF, so hope is clearly still strong with the team. Branden Garcia finishes with strong words, “I still have your back, on and off the field, no matter what mistakes you’ve made or mistakes I’ve made. No matter what, we still each other’s backs.”

FULL EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW HERE! (copy and paste the link to your browser)

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