SSL Ramblings ...
Ridgeview Wolf Pack Coming To Tehachapi
CIF Playoffs Begin This Friday

Posted by on November 20, 2008

For the 13th straight season, the Tehachapi Warriors will be advancing to the post-season playoffs. By virtue of a #6 seeding, the Warriors will be playing at home in the first round, playing host to #11 seed Ridgeview High School of Bakersfield.

The purple-and-gold clad Wolf Pack come to the mountain with an overall season record of 2-8. We know, we know, 2-8, how did they get into the playoffs? And then your thinking, this will be an easy win! Well, not so fast Warrior fans, consider the following:

Despite the 2-8 season record, the Wolf Pack lost six games by 7 points or less.

The Wolf Pack defeated Stockdale, the champions of the Southwest Yosemite League.

In league play, the Wolf Pack play primarily larger Division I and II schools. For the playoffs, they are stepping down to Division III. With nearly 2,600 students, Ridgeview will be the largest school the Warriors have faced this season.

And finally, the Warriors have had lots of trouble with Bakersfield area schools this season, losing to Garces, Frontier, and Bakersfield Christian.

In 2008, the Wolf Pack have been led by 5'9" running back #21 Tyler Dogins. Dogins has rushed for 1,068 yards and 11 TD's. In their league finale last week, Dogins played quarterback.

At times the Wolf Pack will pass the ball, with the primary receivers being #20 Tynell Robertson (13 receptions for 295 yards) and #80 Kyrie Wilson (17 catches for 244 yards).

For most of the season, #15 Joe Ceja has played quarterback for Ridgeview. He has completed 46 of 90 passes for 691 yards and 4 TD's.

For the Warriors, they come into the game winners of three straight, and five of their last six. The Warriors are healthy and peaking at the right time.

Tehachapi is also notoriously tough at home during the cool weather playoff season of late November - early December. Since Coy Burnett Field opened in 1958, the Warriors have won 33 of 40 playoff games on the home turf. The predicted weather for this Friday, partly cloudy with an overnight low of 38 degrees. Bring your hot coffee, blankets and gloves.

Around the SSL ... BCHS, Taft, and Arvin Enter Playoffs

After the playoff seedings and pairings were announced by CIF officials this past Saturday in Porterville, it became clear that the primary rating factor was final overall record and NOT strength of schedule. This philosophy by the CIF seeding committee has been heavily criticized this past week by the local print media and area high school football blogs and bulletin boards.

Case in point, in Division V, SSL champion Bakersfield Christian was the first to complain as the 9-1 Eagles were seeded #2 and Corcoran received the #1 seed. This means Corcoran will be at home throughout the playoffs, and if the Eagles and Corcoran meet in the finals, area football fans will have to travel to Corcoran to enjoy the game.

The problem is the only loss suffered by the Eagles was to Oaks Christian the first game of the season. Oaks Christian finished the season 10-0, and ranked #10 in the State of California. The Eagles also played against tougher Division III and IV schools in SSL play, defeating perennial powers Tehachapi and Taft (and BOTH defending CIF champions).

Corcoran played a much "softer" schedule in achieving their 10-0 record, with wins over smaller schools, and teams with losing records.

BCHS head coach Doug Barnett called the CIF office in Porterville looking for an explanation, he didn't get one that he was happy with.

BCHS has a first round bye this week and will meet the winner of the Lindsay-Parlier game next Friday in Bakersfield.

In Division IV, #5 Taft and #4 Kingsburg, who both had first round bye's, will meet on Wednesday, November 26 in Kingsburg. This should be a great game. And #9 Selma will travel to #8 Arvin this Friday, November 21.

Thunder and Lightning ...

You know the old saying, sometimes you don't appreciate what you have til' its gone. Well, this might be the case with senior running backs Adam Mullen and Josh Strauss, who are probably playing their last game on the home turf this Friday night against Ridgeview. If the Warriors win and advance, future games will be on the road.

Warrior fans and coaches have enjoyed watching the natural athletic abilities of these two running backs --- with their contrasting styles --- the past four years.

Warrior Sports Information Director Tom Shea has coined the phrase "Thunder and Lightning" to describe these two running backs, and we thought it would be appropriate to reflect on their years in the football program.

Mr. Thunder Adam Mullen will try to run you over, stiff-arm you, twist-and-turn, and squirm to gain another few precious years. Many times he refuses to go down when he should --- making himself susceptible to injuries.

As a freshman, he played a major role in leading the Indians (8-1; 5-0) to a SSL championship. As a soph, he scored nearly 30 TD's, as the Braves finished 8-2, 4-1 in SSL just behind league champion Arvin.

As a junior, he was part of a backfield that included three outstanding running backs (including Strauss and Kelly Lorenz), as the Warriors won an SSL and CIF championship. As a junior year, he scored 19 TD's and rushed for 971 yards.

And as a senior, he battled injuries for the first time, limiting his play early in the season. But he has been on a tear the second half of the season, always finding a way to get into the end zone for a touchdown. His senior numbers have swelled recently, and he has 18 TD's and 975 yards rushing.

In his two years on the varsity, he has scored 37 touchdowns, currently placing him number six all-time in the storied Warrior program.

Mr. Lightning Josh Strauss will simply out run you. He is lightning quick and can beat opponents on the run or by out running linebackers on a short pass play.

He too played on that 2005 championship Indian team with Mullen. But as a soph, he found himself in the land of much bigger and experienced juniors and seniors on the 2006 varsity Warrior team. His weapon of speed helped him gain 641 rushing yards and 11 TD's that season running side-by-side with Gabe Bressler and Louie James.

As a junior, Strauss rushed for 989 yards, scoring 8 TD's, and was part of the running back trio (that included Mullen and Lorenz) that led the Warriors to the 2007 CIF championship.

As a senior, Strauss has rushed for 1,410 yards and 12 TD's in 10 games. In his three-year varsity career, he has rushed for 3,040 yards and scored 31 TD's. He's just the 5th Warrior running back to break the 3,000 yard mark, and he too ranks in the top seven in career TD's scored.

He also set a new single-game rushing record against Rosamond with 304 yards and also established a new single-game record for most pass reception yards against Bakersfield Christian with 203.

Yep, after Friday night, Thunder and Lightning will certainly be missed in the mountains of Tehachapi.

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