Category Archives: Cheerleading

Friday Night Lights, Warriors Casting Shadows: McClymonds Beats Bradshaw Christian 71-14

Bradshaw Christian

McClymonds vs. Bradshaw Christian: First quarter score. August 29th, 2014.

Photo and story by Anthony Beron

The deep contrast produced by the lightning-white field lights illuminating McClymonds’ football stadium and the jet-black shadows of the wizened  football coaches from Bradshaw Christian reflected the disparity between the monstrous offensive and defensive Mack Warriors and broken and dysfunctional Bradshaw “Pride”.

It was also the first game for Mack’s new quarterback, Kevin Davidson — another import but this time not from another Oakland high school or an African-American family that had moved to suburbia.

The new quarterback is Caucasian at a school that is 86% African-American and prides itself on combining sports and tutoring through SPAAT (Student Program for Athletic and Academic Transitioning) to propel students to better colleges.

“We try to get the athletes geared up for college so they can succeed in academics and not just sports,” said Ilalo Kalika, a training specialist at SPAAT.

“He [Davidson] came here and we just accepted him. He has a good attitude during practice and has a steady head,” said Taivion Foster, who also had 11 tackles and five assists against Bradshaw Christian.

Lavance Warren of McClymonds rushed for nearly 200 yards and contributed to Mack’s 1,487 total number of all-purpose (passing and rushing) yards. Bradshaw Christian only had 335.

Davidson, a junior, and running back Lavance Warren, a senior, played with intense focus and mechanical efficiency- shooting down the field in a couple of plays during each possession- and racked up a majority of Mack’s 71 points. Over 230 yards, resulting in the other chunk of the final score, were gained by short, bullet-like passes and returned fumbles.

McClymonds High’s offensive and defensive styles showed an equilibrium between jukes and chugs as they used their youthful style to avoid congested Bradshaw scrambles, and insurmountable mass to effectively wall-off the banana yellow goal posts and lime green endzones the Pride barely touched throughout game-time. Keawe Efhan, the running back and weapon-of-choice for Bradshaw’s offense, suffered from endless crushing and decisive hits performed by Mack, all of which sapped his gusto quick into the first quarter.

During the second half after a few effervescent pep-talks, Bradshaw still kept a stale offense. Kicker Dani Lawson of the Pride only scored two field goals throughout the game, tacking on two points to the ultimate score of 14.

For McClymonds the only anticlimactic event of the night was when Anthony White, number 12, attempted his only field goal, but fell short because of a poor snap.

The Warriors historically have had faulty kicking teams. Last season, only a handful of field goal attempts were made in total. None were successful. During the 2013 California Interscholastic Federation playoffs for northern Californian high school football teams, McClymonds lost to Central Catholic, in part due to not having an adequate kicking squad. No field goals were scored by Mack, yet several were made by Central Catholic. McClymonds lost that game, 17-14.

“We could improve our kicking,” said Decarlos Anderson, Mack football coach. “But it’s all good as long as we score enough points. The main reason (for) why we lack kickers is because McClymonds hasn’t had a soccer team in years, but other schools do. They can just pull kickers. We can’t.”

With the addition of the Advanced Sports class, taught by Anderson, many athletes take almost an hour-and-a-half out of their routine class schedule to lift weights.

“It’s a contributing factor, but we’ll see how it works later on since we’re only in the beginning of the year,” said Anderson in reference to Advanced Sports.

Mack senior, Rahquille Menefee- a 250-plus pound offensive guard and defensive end- grinned about weight training. “It gives me the greater advantage so then I can overpower everybody in my face. It gives me a mental edge, too.”

“This year’s new quarterback, Kevin (Davidson), who is also a transfer student, outsizes any Mack quarterback from the past three years,” said Anderson. “The Warriors are something stronger, something a little bit new, but with just as much talent.”

Why McClymonds needs a mascot

Great tradition: in 1950, Bill Russell tried out for team mascot at McClymonds

(photograph from Oakland Museum collection)

by Anique Gichanga

We need more spirit, pep, and cheer at Mack. And a mascot — a warrior with paint on face, spear in hand and ready to go to war — would hype  up the crowd and encourage more cheering at games.

As we head towards state playoffs, with our boys’ team undefeated with a recent, big win against Fremont, and our girls with the BIG WIN against Skyline, it seems ridiculous not to have a mascot to represent our school’s fighting tradition.

We have a venerable history: Bill Russell tried out for mascot (instead, he made the team) and when an undefeated McClymonds won the state basketball championship in 2008 under Coach Dwight Nathaniel, we had a mascot.

So why is not there one now?

It’s not as though we’d be the only school in the league with a mascot. Oakland Tech has a tacky purple bulldog and its team is 11-14, fourth in the OAL. Fremont has an ugly tiger instead of 10 cheerleaders because they don’t have any.

Mascots can be more amusing than cheerleaders: they get laughs, try stunts that cheerleaders are far too graceful and athletic to try (such as doing push ups, lifting barbells, bizarre dunking  or crazy tumbling). They’ve thrown dollar bills or t-shirts  in audience and have caught on fire.

As for mascot selection, let’s not leave it to the school administration.  Like homecoming queen and king, we should vote for our mascot. It should be a freshman, so they could lead the Warriors to victory over four years.

Hoop-Coming brings cheer to Mack on a rainy day

rallylockers

By Anthony Beron with photos by Hailey King

The lockers were festooned in orange. Students donned black for the Black-Out against Skyline.

Hoop-Coming generated much excitement at McClymonds today with a 6th period rally in the gym, teacher-student game and dancing, as the school’s basketball teams prepared to play rival Skyline this afternoon.

“It was sectioned off. All the classes were by themselves.  It all felt kind of dead,” said freshman Keyshawn Roberts. “I expected it to be really fun.”

“We wanted to encourage school spirit, to get everyone hyped for the game tonight,” said Anastasia Walton, a senior and a member of the student council, who helped make posters hailing the rally.

The boys’ basketball team (17-8) remains undefeated atop the Oakland Athletic League (9-0), while the Lady Warriors sit in second place (6-3 in OAL) behind an undefeated Skyline.

prerallyphoto

Triple hoops action against rival Oakland Tech: girls lose 66-55; boys win

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photos by Danenicole Williams

Story to come

For the girls, it was a hard-fought battle against arch-rival Oakland Tech. After a promising first quarter (leading 16-9), the Lady Warriors just could not maintain the lead, falling to Tech 66-55.

JV Boys edged Oakland tech 51-45.

In a fast-paced offensive game, the varsity boys beat Tech 92-88.

Mack’s first male cheerleader: jumps higher, does the splits

silver13malecheerleaderDavonte Braud, a McClymonds cheerleader, poses one of his favorite cheer positions

Story and photo by Anthony Beron

McClymonds’ secret weapon jumps high and moves fast on the football field. But it’s during halftime as part of the cheerleading squad’s festive halftime routine.

Davonte Braud, a junior at Mack, is the first male cheerleader in the school’s recent history. And the only one in the Oakland Athletic League.

Braud does not mind the effeminate connotation allegedly brought with the sport.

“I’ve been cheering since Pop Warner at age 3,” said Braud, who challenges the female cheerleaders with his athleticism, energy and dance moves. “I’ve modeled too.”

The junior has also played football himself. “They urged me to join the team, but I joined the cheerleading squad instead,” he said. He then leaps and does a mid-air split.

Braud was recently threatened expulsion from Mack’s cheerleading team by Humphrey Garrett, a McClymonds School Security Officer, for being obstreperous during a geometry class lecture.

Many feel Braud is a valuable asset to the team. “He’s an athlete like everyone else,” said Darlisha McGlothen, a senior. “He just jumps higher than anyone else.”

However, not everyone agrees. Some of the alumni and fathers tease the players, calling out to them,”He has your jersey number,” said Nakaya LaForte, a freshman who frequently attends Mack sports games. “It’s good natured, but they are kind’ve also insensitive.”

“We just like the cheering,” said Jacquari Warfield, a sophomore wide receiver. As for it coming from a male cheerleader? “I don’t think much about it.”

Four-Peat: Mack dominates Oakland High 44-16 to capture Silver Bowl

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photos by Anthony Beron

by Anthony Beron

Relying on the running game and special teams, McClymonds High School won their fourth consecutive Silver Bowl title 44-16  despite a more zealous performance by Oakland High in a tighter than expected first half.

With no time to celebrate, the team started preparing this week for a possible state championship showdown against rival Central Catholic, which beat them earlier this season in a close game 38-24.

It was Oakland High’s first appearance in the section championship since 1994.

During the Silver Bowl, McClymonds had its challenges in the first half, as they fumbled once and threw an interception. Oakland High scored first on a field goal, which was the first of three by sophomore Jose Rivas.

McClymonds quarterback, senior Emoni Fountain, ran for 8 yards, giving the Warriors their first lead. After a successful two-point conversion in the first half, the Warriors led 8-3.

After another Rivas field goal, the lead narrowed to 8-6.

“We’ve gotten a lot better over the season,” said McClymonds coach Michael Peters. “We have to set the tempo and be more aggressive earlier in the game.”

That increase in tempo finally came during the second half; after a pep talk by the Mack coaching staff at halftime, immediate touchdowns followed. Louis White, a junior, returned the 2nd half’s initiating kickoff from Oakland High to score a 79-yard touchdown.

This stretched Mack’s lead, creating a gulf that Oakland High had a hard time narrowing .

“Their linemen were really uncoordinated and couldn’t keep up with the heat we were throwing. I pancaked my guy twice, and I barely got any playing time,” said Mel Fulava Jr., a Mack junior.

Lavance Warren of McClymonds showed an outstanding running performance, rushing for 142 yards and scoring two touchdowns, while Oakland High’s quarterback, Kesomi Mafi , rushed for 153 yards and threw a touchdown, according statistics in the San Jose Mercury and MaxPreps.

As they await word about CIF Division IV playoffs, Mack coaches are trying to keep their players ready for the post-season.

“We’re just keeping everything crisp on our team,” said Dwayne Patterson, Mack defensive coach. “We’re probably going to meet Central Catholic again. At this point we need to focus on their running game and just beating them; they’re a solid ‘hit ’em in the mouth’ kind of team.”

Winning at Mack: Will STEM provide the academic answer?

stemteam

by Anthony Beron

It was a cheerleading event of sorts, but the team was a new academic specialty at McClymonds — STEM or Science Technology Engineering and Math.

On Tuesday night, about 80 people, including parents, students, administrators and representatives from Chevron and Project Lead The Way, met to celebrate the opening of McClymonds Project Lead the Way STEM project.

“This isn’t about making them [students] scientists or engineers, but making them critical thinkers and enhancing their life,” said math and STEM teacher Kat Hall, who taught the school’s first course this year.

“I’m certain that this class and academy will prepare our students for success,” said Colleen Piper, Spanish teacher.

With enthusiasm, principal Kevin Taylor talked about visiting STEM programs in Chicago, Seattle, San Diego, Petaluma, and Piedmont only to create  “a Mack version of it.” The school partnered with Chevron for funding and with Project Lead The Way for materials and teacher training.

“I love one thing more than anything else and that is winning” said Taylor.

The expectation, he said, was that STEM would be a winning strategy for McClymonds, injecting creativity in the math and science curriculum and preparing students for the global workplace, a concept that PLTW’s Duane Crum emphasized in his remarks.”These kids can do the job if we pay for training; these jobs will fuel the California economy,” said Crum.

Hall talked about her course, explaining that she tried to spur her students with instant challenges, especially since there were no computers at the beginning of the year.

In one challenge, said student Kardel Howard, “we had to use five different pieces to make a cube. It was the most difficult and most creative project this year.”

Chevron specialist Janet Auer presented Hall with a certificate for a 3D printer. She did not specify the amount that Chevron is donating to McClymonds for the STEM program.

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