Jitters to Joy: Enterprise players react to news of bowl game berth
The season is not over for the Enterprise Hornets varsity football team.
There were moments of nervousness as they waited for the announcement, and there were explosions of excitement Sunday when they found out.
"This whole week the anxiety was really high,” said senior quarterback Bobby Luken. “I was glued to my phone. Can't go to the grocery store without someone asking you if you got in or not.”
After winning the section title game, Enterprise has been selected to participate in the 2013 CIF State Regional Football Championship Bowl Games presented by Farmers.
It is a rare, historical accomplishment. Only three CIF Northern Section teams have made it this far in the postseason.
"Our mentality was, you know, if we win and go 12-0 and win the section championship and we don't make the bowl bid we're not going to apologize for that,” said senior running back Jace O’Ravez.
The decision was announced Sunday by the athletic commissioners at the CIF Regional Football Selection Sunday Meeting.
An announcement on social media was all it took to make the Hornets go crazy.
"The second I started seeing them, I saw the tweet,” said junior running back Isaiah Matthews. “I screen-shot it and sent it out to all my family, posted it on Instagram, re-tweeted it on Twitter. It was a fantastic thing. I was freaking out."
In Division-II, Enterprise (12-0) will face the Manteca High Buffaloes Saturday, Dec. 14 at Lincoln High School in Stockton. The Hornets finished off an undefeated regular season by winning the CIF Northern Section Division-I title Nov. 30. They rolled over Paradise High School, 40-14.
This game will be a challenge against a Manteca team from a more widely-respected section (Sac-Joaquin). According to Enterprise head coach Darren Trueblood, it is a constant battle.
"Well, I think from time to time the coaches up in this area do feel like we [as a section] get disrespected,” said Trueblood. “Now, we may not be top to bottom, and we may not have 7 or 8 teams that can compete at that level, but year in and year out we have a team or two in the divisions that can compete."
The players appear to agree.
"I feel like we honestly don't get enough credit up here,” said Matthews. “I feel like we have fantastic athletes up here but because we're the [Northern] Section - we're not the bay area teams or down south - we don't get credit up here. I think it's really going to be a statement game to get us some rep up here."
Regardless of respect, the teams will settle it on the field. For seniors like Luken and O'Ravez it is one more chance for gridiron glory.
"It's funny because last year after we won there's a bunch of tears, bunch of, 'this was great and thank you so much,'” said O’Ravez. “This year there's no tears, but celebration. I think walking through the line the thing that I heard the most is, 'we've got a couple more. We're not done.'"
It is an understanding that a junior like Matthews can fully grasp.
"This is just another step closer to the ultimate way to send off our seniors and that's a state championship,” said Matthews.
In Division-III, West Valley High School (12-1) was left out of the bowl game picture. Many reports had the Eagles getting a possible bowl berth based on their 2013 regular and postseason performance. West Valley won the CIF Northern Section Division-II championship by beating their Valley Bowl rivals, Central Valley High School, in a 56-28 rout. The Eagles only defeat of the season was a 28-3 loss to Enterprise.
According to the Northern Section CIF website, all bowl games will be played at 7:30 p.m.
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