MacArthur’s four-year football winning streak comes to an end

Losing a close game to Villa Fundamental kept MacArthur from advancing in the intermediate school tournament to defend their championship.

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The MacArthur football team placed sixth in the tournament on October 6 at Valley High School.  They faced Villa Fundamental Intermediate School and Lathrop Intermediate School, losing Villa and defeating Lathrop.  

Due to the structure of the tournament, MacArthur did not advance even though they had a close loss, 14-13, against Villa and a convincing win, 36-7, against Lathrop.

The tournament came as a culmination of six weeks of practice.  Football Coach Mr. Jesus Lozano said, “The practice routine was dedication, strength, and playmaking.”  They practiced four times a week, Monday through Friday skipping Wednesdays, but some weeks they squeezed in a fifth practice.

The first year the MacArthur football team competed was in 1986. The football team has won 24 titles, but this year was not their year.  

Seventh-Grader Albert Valdivia, who played as safety and as a receiver on special teams, said, “The game was hard but went well.”

According to Lozano, the tournament itself was hard because the competition from the other teams was so good.  Going into the competition, the hardest thing was keeping athletes accountable for their grades.

MacArthur students with a failing grade are prohibited to be part of an athletic team, attend a dance or field trip.  Non-compliant students fill out a form with all their classes, current grades, and teacher initials to confirm improvement.

Seventh-grader Kenneth Roman, who played kicker, said he thought that he “played well and made some good plays.”

Jandid Blanco, eighth grade, was the most improved player in the football team according to Lozano.  Lozano emphasized that athletes needed to play as a team. They also needed dedication, strength, and playmaking to get through the practice and tryouts.

On the day of the tournament, the first game began at 8:30 AM.  The second game began at 12:00 PM.  The football team wore a combination of new and old jerseys and their flags for the games.   There was a lot of people on the football team, so there weren’t enough new jerseys. Some team members used simpler, older designed jerseys instead.

The students who scored touchdowns were seventh-graders Sergio Torres, Michael Rocha, and Anthony Acosta as well as eighth-graders Jerome Smith and Artwill Baas.

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