The Friday Night Lights are back to shine on this year’s Los Altos football team, who are ready to make this season a memorable one. The first Los Altos football game of the season was held at home, on Friday, August 25 against San Marino.
The football players started to prepare themselves for the upcoming season back in May, where they had practices running from Monday till Friday, for roughly two hours each day. On August 3, the athletes experienced “Midnight Madness”, which is the first session where the boys got to practice with their shoulder pads, from midnight till 2:00 am. Two year defensive end Jonathan Cortez explains that “the practices have prepared us (the team) but it’s also up to us to play to our best ability and prepare ourselves mentally”. There is an abundant amount of responsibility put on the captains to lead the team. The six varsity captains on the team consists of Senior Kody Olmos, Senior Vincent Ciffa, Senior Gil Vazquez, Senior Jacob Porras, Senior Tommy Rodriguez, and Senior Nick Ruiz, who all predicted a win for their first home game against San Marino. “Being a captain on the team means that I have to watch out for a lot of people. They’re like family to me,” says Ciffa, “We’ve been practicing a lot during the summer and now we finally get to show what we have done”.
The players are motivated to do well this year and regain a spot in CIF. “A lot of people have been doubting us (the team) since we have some big shoes to fill,” says Olmos. He, along with many of his other teammates are motivated by their families, siblings, and teammates to do well. “I am motivated by my Quarterback, Kody since I block for him. I’ve been blocking for him all four years (of highschool),” says Porras “I also do football for my parents, as well as my brother, who is also on the team, to teach him everything I can”.
Before the game started, Conqueror Crazies rushed to fill the stands to watch the boys perform in the first game of the season. With one minute and 20 seconds left on the clock, Olmos was able to run the ball into the endzone for a 60 yard touchdown, as the Conquerors trailed 7-14 at the end of the first quarter. Wide receiver Quinn Peoples was later able to flaunt his offensive abilities by receiving the ball on a 40-yard pass from Olmos that led to running back Anthony Lopez scoring the second touchdown of the night by sprinting into the end zone from the three yard line. Towards the end of the second quarter, safety Efren Aparicio intercepted a throw from the San Marino quarterback to preserve the tie at halftime.
After halftime, the boys came out ready to dominate during the third quarter. Wide receiver Esteban Castro was able to score the last touchdown of the third quarter on a crucial 4th down call. Both Lopez and Peoples were also able to add touchdowns during the fourth quarter. Even though San Marino scored their third touchdown of the night in the fourth quarter, that did not stop Olmos from scoring. Although his run was flagged twice, Olmos’ persistence paid off and after further review the second flag was deemed invalid. Even though San Marino scored the first two touchdown of the night, the Conquerors went out to show that they were a force to be reckoned with, by beating their opponents 42-28, thus making them 1-0.
The Head Football Coach Hector Spathias saw room for improvement but was satisfied by the outcome of the first game. “Well we (the team) won, so a win is a win. But we have to clean some things up because the competition gets a little stiffer as the season goes along,” says Spathias. Spathias envisions success for the team as the season continues and plans to take on the following weeks one step at a time. The captains definitely noticed their team’s flaws and are already planning to fix them for the weeks to come. Ciffa says “In the first half I was really upset, but I think we finished strong and that’s how we need to come out every game and start the tempo like that”.
This years rivalry game against Wilson will be held at Glen A. Wilson High School at 7pm, where the boys plan to conquer the wildcats. Olmos knows that “We (the team) can’t take them (Wilson’s football team) lightly, but if we prepare hard I think there will be a good outcome”.