Caimans seniors have strong bond that helped team succeed
Classical High seniors have turned it around as they travel north for state 6-AA championship game Saturday night against San Jose Santa Theresa
Print ESCONDIDO — During an on-campus interview, Classical Academy football coach Josiah Cruz made a note to send a message of thanks to the mothers of players Life Pollard and Luke Sega.S.“It doesn’t happen all that often, to be honest,” Preston said..
Pollard, Classical’s all-purpose running back, and Sega, the team’s hard-nosed quarterback, said they’re at the Escondido school instead of Rancho Bernardo and El Camino, respectively, because of their mothers.Pollard and Sega are two of the main reasons the Caimans have gone from worst-to-first — 2-19 over a 21-game span from 2019-2021 — to 11-3 this season and a berth in the State 6-AA Championship game Saturday at San Jose Santa Teresa.The tour begins on February 6, 2023 in Manchester, United Kingdom and will stop throughout the month in Brussels, Copenhagen, London, Munich, and Frankfurt before a surprise secret show.Advertisement “My mom wanted me to come here, not to play football, but for the academics,” said Sega, part of the Sega clan that played at El Camino High.“My mother saw things academically here that she liked,” Pollard said.The tour will visit Canada for shows in Montreal and Toronto in late March, and one in Vancouver on April 4.“Honestly, it was a struggle at first, but with help I was able to adapt.D’Mile is nominated in that category for his work on the deluxe edition of Mary J.
“This is no ordinary school.Check out all the dates and cities below! While Epik High toured North America this past March, this will be their first tour around Europe in nearly four years.” Academically, Classical was named the 136 th -best school in the nation in preparing students for college by Newsweek, and No.1 in San Diego for home buyers.m.Because it’s an academy, Classical is open to all students regardless of school boundaries.Classical attracts students from all over the county.
After going 1-9 last season and being outscored 352-122, Classical’s students have turned into football players.“This team is full of seniors who have been here since freshman year,” Pollard said of a roster that has a dozen seniors.“We were all here through the COVID year (0-5 in 2020), and last year.“We all decided it was time to do something about the losing, turn things around, flip the switch.” Part of the flip was moving Pollard from quarterback to running back and shifting Sega from tight end to quarterback.
“The move wasn’t a big deal to me because as a quarterback, I was a runner,” said Pollard.“It was really a team-first switch.” The same goes for Sega, who grew up as a quarterback but was playing tight end and linebacker.When Pollard suffered a rib injury last season, Cruz first turned to Dante Hinrichs, then to Sega.“I had experience as a quarterback, but basically on running teams,” Sega said.
“So it took me two or three games to get comfortable with what we were doing.” And while the switches didn’t pay off last season, they’re paying huge dividends this season.Pollard, whose brothers Friday and Deangelo are also on the team, has 1,845 yards total offense — 1,423 rushing, 274 receiving and 148 passing — and has accounted for 25 touchdowns.Sega has 1,445 yards total offense — 861 passing, 463 rushing and 125 receiving — and has accounted for 18 TDs.Sega also has 58 tackles and two interceptions while playing defense.
Pollard has 35 tackles and an interception.Classical opened the season with easy wins over 0-10 O’Farrell Charter and 5-5 Maranatha Christian.Pollard said it was a 35-28 loss to La Jolla Country Day that set the tone for the season.“Country Day is a strong team,” Pollard said.“We played a really good second half.
That showed us we could play.” After that the Caimans ripped off four straight wins, lost close games to Francis Parker and crosstown rival Escondido Charter before winning four straight playoff games, including Escondido Charter, then Lancaster last week in the Southern California Regional 6-AA championship game.“This is the least-selfish bunch of seniors I’ve ever been around,” Cruz said of a group that includes Dante and Thomas Hinrichs, Chase Mizel, Roman Menotti, Shane Donovan, Alex Franco, Luke Vanderleest, Brooks Winter, Cole Friar, Trevor Dunbar and Justin Reed.“We’ve asked kids to change positions.Asked kids to play multiple positions, mixed and matched.
Mixed in freshmen.” The Caimans will board a bus that leaves at 5 a.m.Friday, then practice at Stanford after arriving before playing on Saturday night.“We try and get ready for the next game and never look ahead,” Cruz said Sega and Pollard, though, are looking ahead.
Both want to play football in college, with Pollard looking at majoring in mechanical engineering and Pollard going into commercial aviation.In this era of transferring schools, both say they never thought of leaving Classical.“I have cousins here,” Sega said when asked about leaving when Classical was struggling to win games.“Life has his brothers.The seniors are all close.
“I never dreamed we’d be playing for a state championship, but we’re invested in this school, in this team.“And we’re going to go up north and play some football.”.
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