Losses come in a lot of different categories. You can get blown out by your opponent. You can lose on the last play of the game. You can play your worst game of the year at any time during the season. Turnovers and mistakes can cost you the game. You can play great one minute and bad the next minute.
Last Friday night the Centaur varsity football team checked almost all the boxes.
Their 17-14 loss to Loyola in the CIF Division 6 playoffs on the Culver City High School campus was one of their most disheartening losses in recent years. Not only was it in the CIF quarterfinals, but it was also to a team that beat them 24-19 in the second week of the season. That loss was also at home.
“Besides the 56-55 double overtime loss to Covina in 2017 this game ranks as one of the most disappointing losses in my coaching career,” said Culver City head coach Jahmal Wright during a telephone interview last Monday. Wright has been coaching football at Culver City for the past 21 years.
Seven years as an assistant coach and 14 years as the head coach. “To be winning 14-3 pretty much the whole game and lose in the last few minutes of the game is very frustrating.”
The contest was basically a tale of two halves. In the first half the Centaurs played a near perfect game. The players were all on the same page and they appeared to be light on their feet and headed for victory at half time. The second half was a completely different story.
“It was never just one thing,” said Wright. “We had some untimely miscues. We had a touchdown called back that really hurt us. We had a field goal blocked. We got down to the one-inch line and could not score. After that we hiked the ball over the quarterback’s head. What really hurt us was getting into the scoring zone in the third quarter and coming away with zero points.”
Despite the loss Wright tried to stay positive after the game. “I told the team how proud I was of them and that I was honored to be their coach. I told them that I was extremely proud that they played hard all the way to the last second. It was a tough pill to swallow losing that game. It is something that we won’t easily get over.”
Despite the loss, the Centaurs’ future looks bright. They have a lot of key players returning led by quarterback Sammy Silvia. The back up quarterback, Alejandro Ortega is also returning along with receivers Myles Singleton, Braylon Singleton and Mateo Torres.
Several linemen on offense and defense are coming back and several key linebackers and defensive backs are returning. On special teams, kicker and punter Henry Brownlow will be back for his senior year. “Next year we should be a lot better,” said Wright.