The Crusader

Courageous Crusaders hope to catch comeback

Diego Ochoa ’19
Jalen Camp ’20 pushes past a Mitty defensive player.

Gabriel Santos ’21, Staff Reporter

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Varsity football is off to a slow start with a 1-7 record, but the future looks bright for the Crusaders, with their most current win being a 40-31 victory against Napa and with the star player and junior quarterback, Adham Abdelghani ’20, throwing for 304 yards and five touchdowns.

The team opened up the beginning of the West Catholic Athletic League against two top tier teams, Archbishop Mitty and Bellarmine, but came up short in both games. Bellarmine was a tough opponent as both teams were neck and neck until the fourth quarter when Bellarmine pulled away with a 20-34 victory. Mitty was a formidable opponent, and they outplayed the Crusaders 6-34 in their most recent defeat.

In the loss against Mitty, Abdelghani suffered a knee injury. “I was in the pocket, the pocket collapsed, a defender landed on my knee and rolled on it.” With the loss of one of their players for a bit of time, the future of the Crusaders looms uncertainly.

In spite of the injury, he is set to make a return in the upcoming weeks. He has decided to play a position he says he is more comfortable playing, the receiver position. Although he is unable to play for the time being, he believes his team can pull through and step up these next weeks.

However, this is just the beginning of a tough season, and while it may be tough, slow and steady wins the race and the hard work and consistency exhibited in the offseason is sure to pay off.

In regards to preparations during the offseason, Head Coach Jay’sen Morris ’07 said, “Our guys have been working out since January. Then guys who played winter sports began to go to June lifting when their seasons were over. We have a solid group of young men at our linemen positions as a number of them went to competitions competing against other top players at their position.”

The extensive training by the students on the football team shows the dedication they have to their sport and the preparedness to take on other athletes in intense competition. With a player incapable of participating, it is vital for the team to use their chemistry and hard work to learn how to play together with a link of their team missing.

Coach Morris foresees a bright future ahead for the football program at Riordan, “Riordan has a lot of potential. I can’t wait to see what these guys can do. Our future is bright.”

This year’s varsity team is full of energy and players who hold a lot of talent and passion for their sport. With the passion, preparation, and energy combined, Riordan’s football team sees a successful season ahead.

With the construction of thenew field, which is set for thenext upcoming school year, this level of energy radiating from the team can soon be seen from the audience. The players andcoaches hope the new field willmake ARHS one of the top venues to play at in the West Catholic Football League.

Gabe Martin ’20 said a way to improve this season is to “learn the plays more, work out more, and have a team attitude so we can better work together.”

With teamwork and good chemistry, athletic training, and adequate knowledge of the team’s plays, the Riordan football team just might be unstoppable.

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Courageous Crusaders hope to catch comeback