If we learned anything last week, there’s still some magic left in those Chowchilla Redskins uniforms.
The football team will be the last Chowchilla High School team known as the Redskins, with the school switching to the Tribe this winter.
“I do think it means something,” Redskins coach Alex Pittz said. “We had sweatshirts made up for the kids for the playoff run that say, ‘Redskins last stand’ on the front and on the back it says, ‘The Tribe will carry on.’ I know it’s definitely special for me as an alumni.”
If you’ve been living under a rock and didn’t read about or see video of how Chowchilla defeated Golden West of Visalia on the final play, here’s what happened:
Trailing 24-20 with one second left, the Redskins had the ball at the Trailblazers’ 6-yard line. Quarterback Cody Woolsey scrambled away from the Golden West rush and tossed a pass to Damon Perry in the flat. Perry avoided two defenders and headed to the middle of the field. Just before he was tackled, Perry lateraled the ball to teammate Ronnie Reyes at the 5-yard line. Reyes then dragged a defender all 5 yards into the end zone for a touchdown.
Final: Chowchilla 26, Golden West 24.
The Redskins are headed back to the Valley Championship game as they try to repeat.
“I was in complete shock,” Pittz said. “Just for Damon to have the savvy and wherewithal to pitch the ball and then for Ronnie to have the flat-out desire and heart to just drag a guy into the end zone. You just don’t see multiple things like that happen on one play, especially with the timing in the game and the importance of the game.”
Which brings us to this week’s matchup.
Chowchilla (10-1) at Selma (12-0) – If you believe in story lines, it’s hard to pick against Chowchilla.
Here you have a team playing as the Redskins for the final time in school history. Legislators are forcing the school to change its beloved mascot, and it seems the whole town is doing it kicking and screaming.
We saw how the town really got behind the football team during their run to a Valley Championship and regional and state bowl games last year. Fans packed Henry Massaro Stadium hours before kickoff.
You have to believe this team will receive the same support with this being the last Redskins team.
Sounds like we could be heading to storybook ending, right?
CalPreps’ computer apparently doesn’t believe in storybook endings. The website predicts Selma will defeat Chowchilla 26-21 for the Central Section Division IV championship.
Before you ask what does a computer know about predicting football? CalPreps has been pretty accurate. It correctly predicted last week’s Oakdale-Merced game right down to the final score, 35-21. It also predicted Chowchilla would win by two points over Golden West.
So what. I’m still riding with Chowchilla. Like I said last week, I haven’t picked against the Redskins all season, and I’m not going to start now.
The Redskins proved last year they can go on the road and win a section title. If you’re a believer in the philosophy that defense wins championships, Chowchilla has a championship defense. The Redskins are fast and physical.
The Redskins are also great on special teams, and that’s often the difference in big games like this.
Then there is Pittz. He and his staff always seem to find a way to get it done.