Charger Football: Charging to Victory


Emma Torzec

Coach Rosa praises the Wilcox Chargers for their impressive teamwork

Emma Torzec, Lifestyles Editor

Neither the frigid air nor the dark sky discouraged excited Wilcox Chargers from filling up the bleachers to support their team at the last game of the 2018 football season. Just like how it failed to hold back the Chargers from securing a win over their rivals, Kaiser-Fontana High, and proudly becoming this year’s state champions. On top of gaining media attention, Wilcox’s Paul Rosa, a junior, was featured and awarded “Week Three Player of the Week” as well as being gifted with a five hundred dollar grant for the football program. The 49ers sum up the last game of the football season with, “In football, there are nights when teams can’t get one thing to go their way but then there are others when everything seems to work… Chargers had everything working for them Friday night.”

    Scott Smith, a junior, explains that a big part of the team’s success was due to their ability to work well together, “The team felt like a family. We all had each other’s back.” December 15 marked the end of the football season but the start of the team’s legacy as they had the longest football season in Wilcox football history with a four month run, the Mercury News confirms.

    The Chargers kicked off the football season with a 10-6 win against Valley Christian in late August. From there, the momentum of the previous game’s win propelled them forward. The Wilcox Chargers’ early season games put them up against many schools in the area such as San Benito High School (37-6 win), Los Gatos High School (25-19 win), Homestead High School (42-7 win), Milpitas High School (28-7 win), and Cupertino High School (34-0 win).

This winning streak continued against opponents including Piedmont Hills (60-6 win) and Salinas High School (45-27 win). The Chargers faced off against the Menlo-Atherton bears and experienced their first loss of the season with a score of 33-28. Maintaining a positive and understanding attitude, the team’s head coach, Coach Rosa, explained that he “called off practice, got some meat and grilled for the boys,” in an interview with the Mercury News. Coach Rosa declared that the team combats low moral by helping each other, describing, “We just feed off each other every day… If one person was down and out, someone would pick that person up. Whether it is a coach or a player.”
The determined Chargers bounced back the very next game, a week later, against Capitol Christian, winning 34-30. Throughout the season, the team played games against high schools Aragon, Santa Clara, Fremont, and Palo Alto, with wins all across the board as they participated in Touchdowns Against Cancer games. The Chargers went on to win their last game of the season against Kaiser High School (41-17 win), and the rest is history.
Amongst the media teams present, the Mercury News covered the game, recalling Kaiser’s Christian Hunter opening with 37 and 18 yards, and how Paul Rosa recovered the ball shortly after. Highlights of the first quarter include Wilcox’s Gabe Herrera scoring his first touchdown of the game, scoring the second one at the beginning of the second quarter, in which Kaiser responded with a touchdown by Hunter. By the end of the second quarter during halftime, moral was high as the score was 20-13, with Wilcox in the lead. Wilcox wrapped up the third quarter, still in the lead, with a touchdown. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Kaiser pulled off a touchdown in response. However, “Wilcox put together an 80-yard drive that lasted more than five minutes, ending with a Rosa three-yard run… Nick Malvini dove to intercept a pass with 1:47 remaining, and Rosa rushed for a first down… the Wilcox celebration started,” wrote the Mercury News, summing up the last few plays of game which helped ensure a Charger victory.
With the Chargers’ win, Coach Rosa proudly pronounced how the best part about coaching football and this year’s team is “being a part of [a] group of guys that are all working together toward a common goal.” The team’s ability to work together was evident, as their long afternoons of practices paid off, allowing them to bring home their latest title in early December.
Meanwhile, player Paul Rosa congratulated his fellow teammates on all their hard work throughout the season, explaining, “the team’s work ethic was outstanding; we knew what our goal was and we knew what we had to do to reach it. It’s the most hard-working team I’ve ever been a part of.” When asked what advice Paul Rosa would give to anyone wanting to be a part of the football team, he suggested, “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Worry about the things you can control, such as how hard you work. If you work hard, you will get a chance to play.”
Coach Rosa congratulates his Chargers on being “tough, prideful and resilient.” When asked how this year’s team was different from last year’s team, Coach Rosa explained, “our team was more experienced and this group of kids had a special bond. They were a tight knit group and really played for each other.” Good job, Chargers!