Rosamond quarterback Dominic Stefanoni (in white with football) goes for yardage against Antelope Valley
defenders in a game earlier this season. Photo by Hank Morris,

SSL Ramblings:
Warriors Back To Action
Runners' Coming To The Mountain

Posted by on October 5, 2011

It's always a good win when the Warriors can knock off Burroughs High school. Year in, and year out, they are a competitive program that play in a tough league. That accomplishment nearly two weeks now gives Tehachapi a nifty 3-1 log on the season. With the "bye" week, the Warriors should be well rested heading into the second half of the season.

A look at the first four games seems to indicate the Warrior Wing-T is in full production. Wyatt Vance has racked up 478 yards and 9 TD's, averaging 8 yards per carry --- and Marcus Curiel has 456 yards and is averaging 8.5 yards per carry. Whoa! Makes you wonder what the backfield might look like if Jorge Garcia did not go down with an injury?

On defense, linebacker Adam Bullard has 37 tackles and 2 fumble recoveries while defensive lineman Jack Blewett has 44 tackles to lead the team. The Warrior defensive secondary also got a good workout against Burroughs, chasing down 25 pass attempts.

While it may be a little early to start talking about the playoffs, the fact is San Joaquin Memorial recorded impressive back-to back-wins over the past two weeks. Led by running back sensation Chris Brown, the DII Panthers came back to defeat Garces by a touchdown, and then knocked out Clovis North. It's only Week 5, but the Panthers may have already secured a #1 seed. Frontier-Bakersfield, Garces, Clovis North, Tehachapi, and others will be fighting for the other top seeds in Division II down the stretch.

In the overall valley rankings, the Warriors are #13 by The Bakersfield Californian and #16 by The Fresno Bee. This is a nice compliment when you think that nealry 100 high schools have football programs in the CIF Central Section (southern San Joaquin Valley) from Bakersfield to Madera.

Meet the Runners' of Rosamond High School

A few years ago this column was critical of Taft High School for scheduling Avenal --- a team the Wildcats proceeded to thoroughly crush. It may be a fair question now to wonder why the Warriors are scheduling the Rosamond Roadrunners?

As a much smaller high school than Tehachapi, the Roadrunners feature a roster just over 20 players --- Tehachapi has nearly 70 players on their varsity roster. The Roadrunners come into the game sporting a 1-3 record, with a big win over Lucerne Valley, and losses to Village Christian, Bell-Jeff, and Antelope Valley. The Runners' were 2-8 in 2010; 3-7 in 2009; and 2-8 in 2008.

Rosamond plays in the High Desert League along with Bishop, Desert (Edwards AFB), Kern Valley (Lake Isabella), California City, and Frazier Mountain. The Runners' last won the league six years ago in 2005.

The series history stands at 28-5 in favor of the Warriors with a 47-0 win over Rosamond in 2010; a 32-6 win in 2009; and a 34-8 victory in 2008. Coach Denman got to play all of his boys in these games --- with the reserves playing most of the second half.

But there are some positives for Rosamond, as the Runners' actually beat the Warriors three years in a row from 1969 through 1971. Those Rosamond teams won championships and featured All-CIF running back Jimmy Johnson.

But this isn't 1970. And next year the scheduling will go into overhaul mode when the Warriors join a new tougher league with Garces and North --- teams on the pre-league schedule this year. It will be interesting to see what old relationships are kept from the South Sequoia League in the form of non-league games ---and what new schools might be scheduled? But please, let's give Rosamond a break.

Around the South Sequoia League (SSL)

The SSL had a .500 record in Week 4 going 2-2 with Taft and Tehachapi having a "bye" week. Wasco and Bakersfield Christian won their games while Shafter and Arvin lost their contests.

The season might be at a low point for Arvin which now has sunk to 0-5 for the year. The Bears have a much needed "bye" week this Friday and an opportunity to re-group for league play.

Meanwhile, Wasco is on a high note sporting a perfect 5-0 record. The "bye" week might be a good thing for the Tigers so they can cool off a bit. Wasco has scored 41, 34, 68, 54, and 53 points in their first five games! And the 34 point total was a halftime score --- as the game was suspended due to fighting (that's another story!). Warrior fans take note: Tehachapi is at Wasco in Week 9.

Strange Taft has only played 3 games at this point in the season. The Wildcats had a game canceled because of the lightning and had a bye this past week. Taft travels to East Bakersfield this week in what will probably be another offensive shootout. Taft has also been scoring a lot of points --- but giving up just as many. Bakersfield Christian will be at South Bakersfield.