Golden Valley football has come a long way from being the weakest match up on most teams schedules to becoming a dominating program reaching the playoffs in back-to-back years and appearing in the first championship game in school history. Many people have covered the success of our program since our rise from an outsider’s perspective, but I am here to give you a look behind the curtains on how Golden Valley football operates.
I am Zack Chevalier, starting quarterback.
I came to Golden Valley during the summer of my junior year because my school, Village Christian shut down their football program. I was blessed to have the opportunity to compete and win the starting position. In that first year as a varsity quarterback I helped lead the team to the CIF championship game.
Many people show up to our games and support us and we appreciate that, however most people don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. The practices, position meetings, film sessions, weight training among other things. As I return for my senior season I want to give you a glimpse inside the program and what goes on.
Our season ended last year in painful fashion: losing in the championship game. It was a great accomplishment making it to the final game, but not being able to complete the achievement inspired our team to work vigorously in the offseason starting a few weeks after the last ended.
Coach Murphy took over the offseason lifting program, building the team’s strength and size and taking the football program’s training to a new level. We competed in a few seven on seven tournaments over the summer, making it all the way to the championship in one of them. We pushed through 110 degree practices and brought energy and competition to the field every day. Even though the heat was miserable and the work was hard we as a team know that it will pay off in the end.
The start of our season looked promising as we had many bright moments during our scrimmage with Crescenta Valley while many of our inexperienced players made great plays in their first varsity experience. Carlos Meza was all over the field on defense making several nice plays and aggressive tackles, while Antonio Abrego was my favorite target hauling in several passes.
The coaches were very impressed with the performance of the two youngsters. After the scrimmage in the team huddle Coach Kelley praised the two sophomores.
After our scrimmage, we prepared for Highland the best we could, knowing that they have a rejuvenated program due to their new coaching staff and new players, but unfortunately we lost. We went up early in the game scoring first and having a 7-0 lead, but we had several mental mistakes allowed them to score and take the lead.
Going into halftime down 8-7 we were positive we could come out in the second half and take control of the game. At halftime we went to the end zone and immediately broke into specific positions to talk about adjustments. The offense met and Coach Kelley told us we have to establish the running game more in order to keep them modest for the passing game as well as addressing pass protection with the linemen.
The defense met with their coaches as Coach Brown stressed the importance of wrapping up on tackles and attacking in the second half. The second half started with our offense failing to get a first down, leading to us punting. Unfortunately, our punter dropped the snap and Highland picked up the ball and scored.
Along with myself, Tyler Walker, Lendele Cervantes and the coaches tried to keep the spirits of the team up, but that was the beginning of the game getting out of reach. After a cumulation of empty offensive drives, long touchdowns on defense, and about a dozen penalties, we lost our first game by a wide margin 42-7.
Passionate to turn the season around, the captains met over the weekend to go over what we can do differently to prepare for our opponents. The next matchup we have is Antelope Valley High School, and we have been competing and pushing each other in practice harder than ever before to prepare.