The bleachers at Stadium ’76 in Merced were packed this past weekend for the El Capitan Gauchos Homecoming game against the Atwater Falcons.
While the game could have gone either way going into half time, the high-flying Falcons ultimately came out on top, winning 30-10.
“I was really impressed with [El Capitan’s] first year coach,” said Falcon Coach Seneca Ybarra. “It was a pleasure to compete against them. While they may be a new program, it was a hard-fought battle. … I appreciate everyone for coming out and supporting our student athletes.”
While things may not have turned out how they had hoped, the Gauchos Head Coach, Jordan Irsik, was solely focused on the positive following the game.
“I’m pretty happy with how the kids played,” he told the Times. “We all still have a long ways to go with the program, but we’re sure as heck making good progress right now. In games like that in the past, it would have got really out of hand, and right now we’re finding ways to be competitive with some pretty good teams and games we used to be competitive in. We’ve got a ways to go, but overall I’m happy with the progress of the team.”
He continued to say, “I was really proud of how they responded early in the game. [The Falcons] got a big score in early, and for us to drive it back down the field and score just a few plays later — I think — is a testament to where our kids are at in terms of growing the culture and being resilient against challenges on the field.”
In the hours preceding the game, the El Capitan Ag department hosted a tailgate cook-out with free food for attendees.
Notably, as a way to show school pride and celebrate all the El Cap Alumni in attendance, there was a big halftime show. There was a huge class dance, with participants dressed in superhero gear. It was incredibly fun and full of character, with a great use of lighting and their large body count. The dance was followed with a stunning firework demonstration.