by Romanalyn Inocencio and Selena Williams
It was the winningest week for Coach Curtis McCauley.
His football team made history. The McClymonds Warriors will play in the CIF Football Division IV Northern Regional Championship game Friday night for the first time ever in the school’s history. It is also the first Oakland Section team to make the state playoffs.
The Warriors(9-3) play the Central Catholic-Modesto Raiders at Lincoln High in Stockton. Two buses — one with players and a second bus for fans — will travel to the game.
“What a great achievement for our school and our community,” said McCauley.
The coach himself earned kudos. McCauley won Oakland Raiders High School Coach of the Year. He already had been selected “coach of the week” in week 8 after the Warriors beat Castlemont 50-0.
Despite sports bloggers’ dire predictions, Mack players feel confident that they have an edge. “Our defense only gave up the fewest points (34 in the OAL to Mack’s 387) of any team all season,” said Louis White. He also cited Mack’s speed and the fact that the team had a tough pre-season schedule.
“We’ve come together as a team,” said White.
Michael D. Peters, a Mack alum from 1986 and receivers’ coach, said that players were reviewing film and practicing hard. “We were seen as underdogs and they give us no props. They got to see what is coming at them.”
“Our kids are ready,” he added. “We got a good defense, good receivers, good line.”
The strategy in short: “Punch them in the mouth.”
Is Mack prepared. You betcha. “We treat our guys like Sparta from 300,” said Peters.