Varsity football is going back to the old normal

The grizzlies are back and better than ever, destroying Palos Verdes.

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Photo by Benjamin Demi-Paris

Grizzlies getting ready to face off Palos Verdes

Story by Isabel Ner and Natalie Ner

After nearly two years of waiting and practicing, our varsity football team is finally back to playing for a live audience: the Growl Crowd and members of their family and community in the Grizzly stadium. The highly anticipated comeback game was tonight’s matchup versus Palos Verdes High School, as the 2021 home opener. But accompanying the roars of the crowd and the flash of the Friday Night Lights might have been some anxious nerves and a heightened desire to play well. 

   “I would say that the pandemic brought our team together in the sense that we are all in this together and we can all lean on each other for support. We can’t wait to be able to finally play on our home field this season. The feeling you get under the lights [on] Friday night is special and we are excited to be able to experience that at home next week,” senior Jack Madsen said.

   Last year, football tickets were highly coveted. One could only watch a game if you were on an exclusive four person list of people invited by a player. With an undefeated record under their belts and an extended wait period that left both players and fans alike buzzing with anticipation, everyone was eager to continue the win streak, and hopefully be a larger part of the experience. 

   But a long wait time for fans meant more time to train for our Grizzly football players. Wanting to follow up a stellar spring season with an even better fall one, preparation is as much about mental work and team bonding as it is physical training. 

      “The team has been working harder than ever to stay physical to give the crowd those boom hits, and we have been working through the tough mental moments in the game because mental toughness is the secret sauce,” senior Justin Martinez said. 

   This ‘secret sauce’ was the key to defeating the Sea Kings, and what ultimately resulted in a phenomenal start to the 2021 football season. 

   Appropriately themed, the Growl Crowd was decked out in their best Grizzly Pride outwear for the home opener, and cheered on our football Grizzlies to their 42-7 win.