The Popcorn Stand: Proud to be from “Strathmore USA”
Today’s Popcorn Stand can be dubbed “Strathmore USA Part II.” Went down last week to watch my alma mater, Strathmore High, lose to St. Patrick-St. Vincent (Vallejo, Calif.) 29-28 on a last second field goal in the state championship game. (Strathmore is a community of about 2,800 in California’s Central Valley, roughly midway between Fresno and Bakersfield.)
But it took two Saints to beat us. I don’t think St. Patrick alone nor St. Vincent alone could have beaten the Spartans, who were 15-0 coming into the game.
One week before in a 62-22 win over San Diego’s Horizon Christian Academy in the Southern California Regional Bowl, Joseph Garcia ran for more than 400 yards and seven touchdowns behind an offensive line who, when they fired off the line, resembled Olympic sprinters leaving the blocks at the sound of the firing gun in the 100 meters. And Garcia looked like the sprinter running the anchor leg, except he just kept going until he reached the end zone.
Most teams look at how small and unimposing the Spartan offensive line is and aren’t intimidated until the start of the game and in short time those teams resemble a punch drunk fighter who has been knocked out asking “wha hopen?”
I thought it was deja vu all over again when this scenario appeared to be happening as the Spartans took a 14-0 lead against St. Patrick-St. Vincent. But to the Bruins’ credit, they hung in there and eventually overcame the Spartans and that was no easy feat as they were Spartans to the end.
College and professional sports have always been a sordid affair, but they seem to be more sordid than ever and that professional/college mentality seems to be seeping into high school and even levels below more than ever.
But seeing two small schools that aren’t football factories who have multi-million dollar facilities (yes, that’s a shot at Bishop Gorman) battle for a state title was refreshing. No 84-8 state title games here. (Yes, another shot at Bishop Gorman).
What I saw Saturday night in my opinion was the perfect balance between keeping sports competitive and pure at the same time.
That’s why I’m proud to say I’m from “Strathmore USA.”
— Charles Whisnand, Nevada Appeal Night Editor