The Vanguard Football team returns to the CIF playoffs with a vengeance.


photo via Ai-vi Allred

El Modena Offense is ready to roll against Segerstrom.

El Modena’s Varsity Football team has gone 7-2 this season, and 2-0 in league. After (beating/losing to) El Dorado, the Vanguards are on their way to CIF.

During the season, El Modena exceeded the national average in total touchdowns (39) and receiving yards (177). The team also tied with the national average in interceptions, 7.

The Vanguards, along with head coach Matt Mitchell, hope to make it all the way through CIF and bring home a title. The team knows it won’t be easy, and have been preparing all season for the slow grind to the top. However, they are careful not to let it get to their head.

Captain, senior Josh Smith (in an earlier interview with frontline), said, “We are slowly working our way up to that CIF ring at the top. We know the climb only gets harder the higher and higher you get, so we are taking it one week at a time.”

El Modena is currently ranked #2 in Southern Section Division 7 Football Playoffs, second only to South Hills High School in Costa Mesa. However, the Vanguards have proven themselves worthy by winning every game except two.

The losses against Villa Park and Canyon were each within a touchdown and the team competed in every aspect of each game. Yet they will not allow this year to slip through their fingers.

A couple of injuries and illnesses have threatened the team in someways, but all of the players are willing to push through the pain in order to do what is best for the team. Some of the younger players, like Jonathan Acosta, have been able to step into varsity games and fill in for a starter.

The 5 hour weekday practices and 4 hour Saturday practices are enough to drive anyone away. The dedication shown by the players is something to be admired, and if they continue to CIF, they will have to practice on Thanksgiving. Hopefully their families will save them some pumpkin pie.

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