By Luke Holthouse
For the second year in a row, the varsity football team finished their season without a trip to the playoffs. What started out as a promising 4-1 record ended in early November.
After the 4-1 start in non-league games, the Wolverines lost four of their five league games and finished the season at 5-5 overall.
With a 1-4 league record, the team finished in fifth place in the Mission League, where only the top three teams advance to playoffs.
The Wolverines began their season with a final minute 34-27 loss to Venice but then won four straight against Fairfax, Leuzinger, Sylmar and El Camino Real.
Despite the team’s relative success out of league, Head Coach Vic Eumont said most of those games were very hard-fought games and that ultimately, his team was worn down by the time league play started.
Starters Alex Cadiff ’13, Jamias Jones ’12, Conor Kalantari ’14, Cameron Komisar ’12 and Nick Nathanson ’13 all missed league games due to injuries, and the rest of the team was fatigued towards the end of the season, as most players had to play multiple positions due to a lack of depth.
“Playing teams like Venice, Fairfax, El Camino and Sylmar [is tough because] they’re physically strong teams, and we get beat up,” Eumont said. “So it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s whether you get beat up or not. We had too many players playing too many plays on both offense and defense, and they get worn down. That’s definitely the issue why we didn’t do as well down the stretch. We ran out of gas because we’re not physically strong enough to be able to play that hard for that long against faster and stronger teams.”
Both Eumont and players emphasized next year’s team needs to be in better shape so that they don’t fade at the end of the year.
“We have to get in the weight room, that’s one definite thing, ” defensive end Keith Leonard ’13 said, adding that the team needs to also “work on our overall speed, get in the watch room with our coach and just overall learn the game better and get more physically tough.”
Eight seniors will graduate from the team. Six of those were starters on defense while two of them were starters on offense.
After averaging 32.2 points a game, a 10.9 point improvement from last year, and with the majority of the offense returning next year, the Wolverines’ offense could be very strong.
Quarterback Chad Kanoff ’13 said the offense worked well under offensive coordinator Scott Ruggles’s no-huddle offense but has room for improvement.
“We need to give everything in the offseason,” Kanoff said.
Though they did not make playoffs, the Wolverines did improve from last year, winning three more overall games and one more league game.
“We just had a lot of stuff go wrong and not a lot of players sell out,” defensive back Cameron Komisar ’12 said. “This year we had a team come together, become one and really work hard every single day to get better.”