Head coach Gary Ogilvie is pictured with members of his 1972 Champion Warriors studying game film of a future opponent. Coach Ogilvie had two different stays with the Warriors as the head coach. He compiled a 42-5 record in league play over a seven year period; his teams went to the CIF playoffs all 7 years as the head coach, four times as the Desert-Inyo League Champion and three times as the league runner-up (2nd place).

On the Line For
Warrior-Ram Matchup Friday

Posted August 21, 2007, by Brad Riddell, The Bakersfield Californian

When Tehachapi plays at Garces in a Week 0 football game Friday, there will be more than just a season-opening victory on the line. The two programs will introduce a perpetual trophy -- the Coach Gary Ogilvie Trophy -- for the victor to take back to its school.

Ogilvie graduated from Garces in 1955, where he quarterbacked the Rams to their first Valley championship in 1953. He returned to the school in 1963 and coached the team to a 34-21-4 record in six seasons.

But Ogilvie also has ties to Tehachapi. In 1970, he took over the Warriors' program and led the team to a 68-12 record, four league titles, two Southern Section championship games and one section title in seven seasons.

During his career at both schools, Ogilvie influenced John Fanucchi, -- who would become the longtime coach at Garces and now serves as school president -- and Steve Denman, who at Tehachapi has become Kern County's longest tenured active coach as he enters his 26th season Friday.

"This was a rivalry back when we were in the Sierra League in the 1950s, so this has been going on for years," Denman said. "Coach Ogilvie has been a major piece of the puzzle between our two schools."

This trophy is a way to add further spark to the rivalry that is known best through the South Sequoia League. Though Garces has moved on to the Southeast Yosemite League, the two programs still get fired up to face each other.

"There's a lot of tradition there going back to the SSL," Garces coach David Fanucchi said. "This just makes the game mean that much more."

Tehachapi's size hasn't intimidated the Rams recently. In 2006, the two teams faced each other in Tehachapi to start the season, and the Rams left with a resounding 33-7 victory. That win started a run in which Garces earned Kern County's only section championship, the Central Section's Division III title.

"We know they are going to be a good test for us, they are always fun to play," Denman said.

While winning Friday and taking home the Ogilvie Trophy for the first time would be a wonderful accomplishment, the Warriors are focused on improvement. As long as the team improves, it will be preparing for a run at the SSL championship.

"Our main goal coming in is to win a league championship, and the preseason is preparing us for that," Denman said.

The Tehachapi coach talks about how his team went 2-3 in 2003's preseason -- nothing to get excited about -- but went on to win the SSL championship.

Garces is facing the challenge of managing expectations after a championship season of its own. The Rams lost a great deal of talent from 2006, but the returning players are ready to fill that void.

"High expectations are nothing new for these guys," Fanucchi said. "It's put upon them in the classroom, and it's put upon them on the athletic field."

Both teams hope Friday's game will be the launch point of great things to come, and the addition of the perpetual trophy will only make the rivalry more exciting.

"It's a way to show the connections between our schools and our communities," Denman said. "And it's a great way to honor (Ogilvie) him."