Webb football competes in their first game after months of practicing

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Bryan Oglesby (‘23)

The Webb football team lines up on defense.

Cleats grounded into the freshly cut grass, teams huddling developing game plans, and spectators gathering with excitement to watch the Webb football team in action against Don Bosco Technical Institute. Players were hyped that they could return to in-person play after over a year of suspended games. You could feel the elation and enthusiasm in the air. High school football is back 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, practices did not begin in August before the schoolyear and instead, began in December when athletes returned to campus for sports practices after months of virtual meetings and film sessions.  

Another noteworthy change is that the team gained two new VWS players. In the past, the team has had VWS players compete, so it is encouraging to see more VWS players joining and competing. Webb’s football team came out on top with a 28-20 win over Don Bosco which sparked excitement among many players.  

Senior captain and quarterback Ethan Caldecott (21) was proud of the way the team carried itself to a victory.  

Our offensive line really dominated in the trenches,” Ethan said. “Now it may not show up on the stat sheets, but our line dominated on both sides of the ball and that is what ultimately led us to victory. 

Webb got off to a hot start with a 60yard touchdown pass from Ethan to Jake Baiz (21) on the opening offensive play for the Guals. The duo kept the foot on the gas and scored two more touchdowns through the air before the end of the second quarter. At halftime, the score was 21-7 Gauls. 

Don Bosco rallied in the second half with a strong running game, totally 260 yards for the game. They scored twice in the second half on the ground, but a 36-yard touchdown pass to Justice Thomas (21) early in the 3rd quarter and a key fourth down stop on defense gave Webb the edge to win the game 28-20. 

The team was generally happy with their performance against Bosco Tech, but is looking to improve for the next game following some tense moments at the end of this match 

“Everyone can improve in some way,” Ethan said. “It was our first game, and no one played perfect including myself. There is a lot we can improve upon as a team going into this last game. 

On the road to victory, the younger players on the team were given the opportunity to step up and make winning plays. There are a lot of new faces on the team this year, as some players chose to play other sports due to coinciding sports seasons. 

“New players have had a great impact,” Ethan said. We have had some key acquisitions this year. It has definitely been a team effort. Everyone has a very important role from scout players to starters. New players are really catching on and having a great impact.” 

New members of the football team include VWS students Katie Arzate (23) and Dora Csonge (21). 

“It means a lot to me to be able to play a sport that is usually maledominated,” Dora said. Obviously, there are some differences in our physique and strength, but I think I can keep up well at this level.”  

Due to the fact that the game was not at home, Don Bosco had differing rules than Webb revolving around COVID-19. Spectators for the game were limited to household groupings of four for players and staff; you could not show up on site and be admitted into the game. Webb does not currently allow spectators, but these were Don Bosco’s rules, so it was permitted for the game. Other important COVID-19 rules that were in place was that players had to wear masks on the sidelines and fans had to wear masks and were not allowed to yell.  

The pandemic has brought upon many challenges for the football team and Webb sports in general. There was a point earlier this year when no one was even expecting to play games, which brings more meaning to this win.  

I am really happy we were able to play,” Ethan said. As much as I wish we could play the same amount as everyone else in LA County where teams on average have about five games and we only have two, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to play. 

“The team did amazing, and I felt proud of what we have accomplished,” Dora said. “It was also sad because I knew I was only going to get to play in two games the whole season, and since I’m a senior it’s both my first and last season of high school football.” 

Starting the season with a win will hopefully inspire the team for their upcoming game, one being against Western Christian on Thursday April 1st at 6:30 pm. Even though playing in a COVID-19 era is not normal, the football team, along with every other sports team on campus, is making the most out of their experience playing sports in-person and is representing Webb at its best.