SSL Ramblings:
Long Standing Series With Shafter Ends For Now

Posted by on October 20, 2011

The Warriors improved to 5-1 on the season and 1-0 in South Sequoia League play with a 49-7 win over Shafter last Friday night. It also marks the end of a long standing football series with Shafter --- for now.

With the win, Tehachapi now owns an all-time 25-21-1 edge over the Generals. The only school the Warriors have played more times than Shafter is Bishop High School. The Warriors and Broncos have met 48 times (24-24) but have not played each other since 2001. For decades the Broncos were considered the Warriors primary rival.

Shafter and Tehachapi first played each other in 1930, the first year the Warriors (or Indians as they were called back then) had a football team. Tehachapi proceeded to lose 15 straight games to the Generals with the series temporarily ending in 1949.

The games between the two school resumed in 1981 with the Warriors narrowly defeating Shafter, 8-6. The two schools have played each other every year since 1981 with some very exciting and meaningful games at stake. But ever since Centennial High School in northern Bakersfield opened its doors to the public in 1993-94, Shafter High has lost its competitive edge, with many would be athletes shifting their services from Shafter to Centennial.

While the Warriors and Generals have played each other 47 times --- the Generals have never been considered a rival of the Warriors, not with schools like Bishop and Garces providing plenty of competitive firepower over the years. We should also add that Shafter has always had a heated rivalry with neighboring community Wasco. But with Tehachapi joining a new league next year, and Shafter not on the 2012 schedule, its unfortunate this long standing series is coming to an end.

Meet the Arvin Bears

The Warriors will play SSL game number two Friday night in Arvin. Tehachapi will be heavily favored as Arvin started the season with an 0-5 record in non-league games. All of those losses were by large margins --- but all of the opponents were quality football programs. The Bears, under veteran coach Edgar Mares, rebounded nicely with a hard fought 12-8 win over Taft last Friday night. For the red-and-white clad Bears, it was their first win of the season.

The Warrior defense will have to keep an eye on Arvin running back Orlando Perry #20 who has accumulated 616 yards and scored 3 TD's. Arvin QB Jordan Wood #2 has a number of receivers that have caught the ball this year, but Matt Munoz #5 leads the pack with 4 receptions and 1 TD catch. The Arvin defense is led by big linebacker Tyler Karr #85 (6'3" 175 lbs.) who leads the team in tackles.

The Warriors will counter with Wing-T running backs Wyatt Vance and Marcus Curiel, QB Bobby Howell, and wide out Cory Lange. Vance has 655 yards rushing and 10 TD's while Curiel is right behind him with 585 rushing yards and 9 TD's. Howell has completed 14 passes this season with 12 of them landing in the hands of Lange, good for 470 receiving yards and 4 TD's.

The stellar Warrior defense continues to be led by linebacker Adam Bullard with 52 tackles this season and lineman Jack Blewett with 45 tackles.

Valley Rankings and Playoff Seeding

The Warriors remain in the top 15 in the Central Section rankings as the Bakersfield Californian rates Tehachapi #11 while the Fresno Bee lists the Warriors as #12. The other three Division II teams in the Top 15 include San Joaquin Memorial (6-1); Garces (5-1); and Clovis North (4-1).

Memorial was in the drivers seat to earn a #1 seed in the post-season tournament in Division II with impressive wins over both Garces and Clovis North. But the Panthers were upset by Sunnyside-Fresno, 35-22, Thursday night as Errian Wingfield of Sunnyside ran wild with 364 rushing yards and 5 TD's. Sunnyside is now 5-1 with the win.

Warrior fans will remember the Warriors, the defending DII champion, defeated both Sunnyside and Memorial last year in their playoff run.

Around the South Sequoia League (SSL)

Wasco continued its dominance of opponents with a 48-7 win over Bakersfield Christian last Friday night. Wasco remains undefeated this season and all eyes are focusing on the huge matchup between Wasco and the Warriors in two weeks.

As previously mentioned, Taft lost to Arvin 12-8 and continues to be a mystery? The Wildcats have an excellent coach and an excellent football program but may be on the verge of back-to-back losing seasons. Things don't get easier for Taft this week, they visit Wasco.

Bakersfield and Shafter will lock up in a game this week that should be an even match. We give the Eagles a slight edge in this game.