Category Archives: Football

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.”

So close…Mack loses 17-14

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photos by Anthony Beron

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.”

Pumping iron at dawn: new varsity football rigors

opinion piece

by Jacob Miles

It’s 6:30 in the morning: your eyelids are still glued shut, as your iphone ringtone echoes in the dark. You grab your shorts because it’s time for an EXTRA early morning varsity football workout.

Only at McClymonds.

This year, Coach Michael Peters decided to give the varsity football team an edge: we  are now the only OAL team to be add a morning workout twice a week to our daily practice schedule.

Most of the players welcome the change. “I feel it’s good that we do something different from other OAL teams,” said sophomore Jordan Matthews.

So far this season, McClymonds edged Fremont 21-14 and crushed its arch-rival Skyline (the only team that has won four back to back Silver Bowls) 56-0. Varsity is expected to dominate Castlemont (0-7) this Friday in another lopsided game, according to MaxPreps.

“The reason why we put in the extra work is to show what we are doing on this field.” Coach Peters, an Mack alumnus, said about his team. The coach also said that these workouts will get the team ready for the next level in college .

“In college, man, it’s no joke: you have to get up at 6AM and have full workout sessions to start your day,” Peters say.

The players lift in the range of 165 to 285 pounds.

“Man, I feel so weak in the morning I could barely lift, I still be half asleep!” sophomore defensive tackle Tavion Foster said.

The only advantage of the extra work outs on Monday and Tuesday is that they don’t extend all week and finally on Wednesday, the players get a little extra sleep. The sad thing is though…..IT STARTS AGAIN NEXT WEEK.

Day with the Mack OGs (Oldest Graduates)

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by Jacob Miles

From the oldest grads of the 1950’s to the class of 2012,  Mack spirit flew all around DeFremery Park on Mack Alumni on September 28.

OG’s walked with canes up to the ones in wheelchairs, each more eager to reminisce about  the school’s victories in sports and its grads’ success in politics.

The smell of old school fish, summer BBQ,and OG’s with beers filled the air.

A sea of black and orange. No drama this year. A few years ago, a fight marred the festivities.

 Alumni Day is more than just memories. It’s always a good time for the alumni to meet the football team that may well make Mack history by winning its fourth Silver Bowl in a row, with  a shot at the state trophy.

The alumni showed as much respect to the football team as the team showed them, students said.

“I just walked passed a booth from the 70s and a alumnus asked me, did I want a plate just because I had on a Mack jersey,”said  Joseph Sanford, a senior and lineman who always finds the picnic “amazing.”

“This happens every year: it’s the best thing that could happen at Mack and for the future too,” said Head Coach Marcus Peters, a McClymonds grad himself.

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Bye Week Turns Spotlight on JV Football

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Opinion piece

by, Jacob Miles (Varsity Lineman)

Bye week is a time to reflect on our shortcomings (not many) and kick back to “Love no Thoties (by Chief Keef).”

It also shines the spotlight on the JV team, which plays against Menlo next Friday.

“We go set the tone by beating Menlo first, then Varsity will beat them next,” JV lineman Harry Lawrence envisioned.

This year’s JV team is made up of new recruits of freshman, sophomores,  and several juniors. The roster is bigger, the players are larger, and the wide receivers more talented than those from last year.

In light of the varsity team’s performance, there is a different feel: less work, but more running on the track. After a fairly straightforward 44-22 victory over Valley Christian, we are training for our next game at home next week against Menlo.

With a record of 3-1, the team is gearing up for competing later in the OAL (Oakland Athletic League), starting October 14, and  potentially for state competition in December.

“I’m just glad we got a cool week to relax and just chill, but I do want to play this last team so we can go to the OAL and get a ring then go to state,” said senior Randall Coleman.

The coaches are also ready for the season as they continue observing the team’s strong overall performance. “This year will be a whole lot different from last year, because we faced one of the best teams in the CIF division,” said Coach Carlos Anderson. “They gave us a challenge last year, and even though we lost again this year we still got closer than we did last year, and are in the ballpark for another shot at state,” he added.

The entire school seems aware that this year McClymonds could win the Silver Bowl for the fourth year in a row, setting an OAL record.

“This year,” Tyrone Spivey told his football classmates, ” ya’ll could make history.”