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 “Licks” was powerful: it’s based on a true story
by Janaya Andrews
It was no ordinary Friday afternoon at McClymonds, as 25 students and community members talked to the Berkeley director who filmed the award-winning “Licks.” He was with two of the actors, who both grew up in the Lower Bottoms.
The event was organized by Alternatives in Action and featured a panel on “manhood.”
“The movie shifted between humor and sadness and anger,” said freshman Dazhane Labat, who attended the event. “It had moments of redemption; like when the baby is brought to a family to save him from his drug-addicted mother.”
The movie hit home. It actually shows us teenagers how life is in Oakland and how things work out; with the realistic scenes of places you know, and dialogue that rings true, you recognize how the hood works.
The movie follows guy named “D”, as he moves back to his hometown Oakland where he was charged with robbing a store and wielding a gun.
The most compelling scenes centered on personal relationships. At home with his girlfriend, she told him,”Promise me you wont hit up no more places. His response: baby, look i’m with you now and she expresses her doubts and warns him not to bring back his stolen merchandise.”
In his oustside life, friends become more prominent, asking him, “Are you ready to go make hit this lick.” He answers, “Yea, man let’s go to their approval, “alright that’s my boy.”
Minutes later, they drove to a meat market and went in the store with a black masks on. Then they told the store clerk to get on the floor; they held his head down on the counter making sure he couldn’t get a good look at their faces.
“Licks” touched us all, because of the real hard times we face and the choices we make: the film shows, with great compassion, that thugs have problems with money and only rob because they are trying to get money for their families.
For Jonathan Singer-Vine, a 24-year-old writer and director who was born and raised in Berkeley, California, “Licks” is his first feature film. It opened in Oakland’s Parkway Theater in November and won several awards.
He said the film was aimed at 16-year-olds because they will understand how and why the movie was made and its real message.
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Posted in Commentary, community, Gangs, Lower Bottoms, opinion, School News, Trends, violence, West Oakland, Youth
Tagged film, Jonathan Singer-Vine, Licks, Lower Bottoms, manhood panel, McClymonds, youth