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Owls End Season with 2-3 Record

SALEMI

Julia Fay

The Laguna Blanca Owls Football Team has drastically changed from years past. Despite the loss of 12 seniors, this year’s version of the team is a cohesive, passionate group of young football players. What they lack in experience, they make up for in desire and determination.

The Owls came out strong in their first game, proving they had overcome the obstacles of having both a smaller and a younger team. They beat New Design with a resounding 74-26 victory. Freshman Wells Fowler showed no signs of intimidation, starting his high school career off with three touchdowns. Teammates junior Javier Abrego, sophomore Josh Baron, and junior quarterback Aidan O’Donnell each contributed two touchdowns as well.

The next game proved a challenge for the Owls as they headed down to Los Angeles to compete against Animo Robinson. Here they struggled to mount any offense and faced their first loss of the season with a score of 27-6. A few of the bright spots of the game came from Abrego, leading the offense with 74 yards on 6 carries, and Wells Fowler’s intercepting two passes; however, the boys still couldn’t convert for points. When asked about a major moment of his season, senior captain Will Bartholomew said, “After our first loss against Animo, we really came together as a team and responded well by crushing Coast Union the next game. It was really a defining moment for our season.”

The Owls quickly bounced back from their loss the week before and returned to their winning ways, defeating Coast Union 58-0. O’Donnell was a highlight for the offense, passing for 113 yards and 3 touchdowns. Bartholomew also had a big day with 9 tackles.

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Most recently the Owls fought hard against their long-time rival, Thacher. Thacher got off to a large lead early on, scoring 34 points in the first quarter. Early in the second quarter, paramedics rushed the field as Wells Fowler suffered an injury to the neck and was taken off on a stretcher. His absence from the game sparked the Owls into action as they scored another touchdown right before halftime and ended the half with a score of 34-12. The Owls then went on to score another touchdown, but by then the game was too far out of reach. O’Donnell was again an instrumental player for the Owl’s offense, rushing for 106 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. He also completed 16 of 34 passes but was intercepted 3 times. Unfortunately, this was not enough for the Owls, who came up short, losing 50-18.

The next two games on the Owls’ schedule are tough ones. They played Orcutt Academy on the road and then Villanova Prep at home for their senior day. These two games were a great test for the Owls, and the young team surely gained game experience despite the losses.

They have overcome major challenges already, some of which include having a noticeably smaller and younger team as well as multiple injuries causing key players to sit out. So far they are 3-2, and they hope to continue winning all the way through the CIF-SS Division 1 Playoffs by using their dedication, chemistry, and talent to persevere.

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Owls End Season with 2-3 Record