By Judd Liebman
After a nail biting homecoming loss to Cathedral, the football team lost two straight games against Junipero Serra High School and St. Paul High School, giving up 82 points combined. The team’s overall record dropped to 2-6-1 with a league record of 0-4. The team goes into the game against St. Francis winless in the Mission League.
The move to the Mission League from the Del Rey League came at the cost of playing more talented teams, Head Coach Vic Eumont said.
“The league is stronger from top to bottom, but we have played these types of teams every year, just not as many within the same year,” Eumont said.
According to defensive lineman Ernie Zaferis ’11, the team’s winless league record can be attributed to the team’s inexperience and multitude of injuries.
The team’s inexperience on both offense and defense hurt them when trying to close out games, leading wide receiver Noor Fateh ’11 said. In the loss against St. Paul on Friday Nov. 5, the Wolverines had an 11-point lead going into the fourth quarter. After a late surge by the St. Paul offense, the lead turned into a two point deficit by the end of the game and Harvard-Westlake lost to the Swordsmen 30-28.
“[St. Paul’s offense] was getting a big push off the line and we let them get back in it,” Zaferis said. “We made just a couple of mistakes here and there, and it went a long way for them.”
In addition, the Wolverines gave up a 21-14 lead to the Cathedral Phantoms at Homecoming Oct. 23, and lost the game 24-21 after a missed last-minute field goal attempt by Will Oliver ’11.
“Everything kind of goes back to all the injuries,” Zaferis said. “That was the toughest part of the season, overcoming all of the injuries.”
“Injuries have been killing us this year,” Fateh said. “Every week one or two guys get injured. They are big injuries too.
Starting quarterback Max Heltzer ’11 suffered a finger injury. Also injured are running back Jamias Jones ’12 and cornerback Nick Firestone ’11. Both are expected to return to the line-up for the last game of the season against St. Francis on Friday. The Wolverines are thin at the conerback position, as Cameron Komisar ’12 is also injured. Correy King ’13 replaced Jones until King injured his arm at the Homecoming game.
Despite the many injuries, the team evolved into a close unit, Zaferis said.
“We grew together as a team,” he said. “In the beginning no one really knew what to expect, but we have now grown together.”
“We were unsuccessful in the amount of losses that we had, but we were successful in the growth of the team,” Fateh said.
Eumont and his young team look to the home game against St. Francis High School on Friday Nov. 12 with a sense of hope and optimism. The team is going to leave everything on the field for the last game, Fateh said.
“Our theme is ‘Do better!’” Eumont said. “If not today, tomorrow! If not this play, the next one!”