January - Varsity vs. Clayton Valley
Wildcats maul Eagles:
The beginning of every new season always brings questions to mind about how the team will do during the season. This year is no exception. With the success of the local football teams and the holiday break, the uncertainty was easily justified. But alas, school starts back up and bodies begin to move again and players start showing up to practice. This year’s team is an interesting mix to say the least, but it is full of exceptional athletes that are committed to their sport and are leaders both on and off the field. I look forward to developing this group along with the help of an incredible staff.
Saturday’s game VS. Clayton Valley was an eye-opening experience for players and coaches alike. The winter break saw many 1st side regulars unavailable for this match and the youngsters stepped up in a big way. I started four freshmen, a sophomore, and two juniors. This bodes well for the future, as these players are gaining valuable playing experience early in the season.
It was a hard-hitting stalemate battle for the first 22 minutes. Thrashing runs by Gerrardo Dominiko (San Rafael High,) Tommy boy Brusati (Terra Linda High) and Filipe Namatasere (Redwood High and the FOURTH brother to play for me) were as exciting as the bone jarring hitting from Buddy Carlin (Marin Catholic) and Zach Tanverakul (Redwood.) But Clayton Valley punched one in at the 22 minute mark, converted and we were down Seven. The North Bay answered back six minutes later, when Sam Crolla (who was having the game of his life) touched down. 5-7 to CV. Just before half CV worked one in and we went into the intermission down 5-12 with several questions that needed to answered immediately.
The second half started with CV putting one in and the Wildcats were in a hole 5-17. But as they say, things are always darkest just before the light. And light it up we did. Dominiko punched one in after a series of phase play and Ross Baylor converted. 12-17 and we had a game. Carlin was up next with some hard running and opportunistic play to score one of his own and the ‘Cats had their first lead 19-17. But CV wasn’t done. They put one in and we were behind, again, 19-24.
Crolla notched his second score of the night and Ross Baylor’s conversion was again true and we were back on top 26-24 with less than 4 minutes to go. Tommy Brusati notched his first of the year with a blistering run that Baylor again converted and at the final gun, the North Bay had it’s first victory in as many matches in this new year, 33-24.
Additional exceptional play by Joe Elliott, Patrick Burrell and Mark McCloskey and newcomer Rocco Allenstein who all contributed significantly to the victory. Again, all players saw playing time (as usual) and the team came away feeling more connected than ever before.
Off to UCLA next week.