Escalon High School will recognize its senior football players and cheerleaders on Friday night, just prior to kickoff of the varsity game against Modesto Christian.
A tough season in the Trans-Valley League currently has Escalon on the outside looking in, the Cougars holding out slim hope they can squeeze into the playoffs with a Friday night win at home and some help from other teams.
An Oct. 30 heartbreaking loss at Ripon forced the unfamiliar position for Escalon, in danger of missing the postseason. (See story, photos in Sports, Page A9.)
And while the varsity squad would love nothing better than handing the visiting MC squad a defeat, Escalon head coach Mark Loureiro said the Crusaders come in also needing a win.
“If they win, the go in to the playoffs as the third place team from our league,” Loureiro said, noting the Crusaders have something to play for. “They are 3-6 overall, 2-2 in league and they had a tough preseason. This past week, they lost 54-37 to Hilmar.”
Escalon, at 1-3 in league with losses to Hilmar, Hughson and Ripon, need the final game victory to even their overall mark for the season at 5-5, going 3-2 in their preseason.
“If we win, we take our chances of getting in,” Loureiro said, noting that a couple of teams would have to take final week losses for the Cougars to qualify for postseason play.
“Modesto Christian is very explosive,” the coach added. “They give up points but they score, it will take at least 30 points to beat them.”
After the tough loss at Ripon, Loureiro said he hopes the players can find that extra spark, a little more toughness, a little more quickness, to come out and make their last home game memorable.
Coach Michael Parsons will lead the Crusaders onto Engel Field. The MC roster has dwindled to 21 players but Loureiro said there are outstanding athletes among them and the game should be a hard-hitting contest.
The Crusaders are led by running back Chris Brown, 5-10, 175 who, according to Loureiro, is “the best running back in league.” He is supported by running back Marcus Warren, 5-8, 195; quarterback Bransen Reynolds, 6-2, 180; and wide receiver Josthin Dawkins, 6-4, 185.
The JV game starts the evening at 5:30 p.m.; the recognition for senior players, cheerleaders and their parents will follow the conclusion of the JV game and kickoff for the varsity contest will follow the ceremony.
Loureiro encouraged community members to come out and support the team in their final home game of the 2015 campaign.