(UPDATED on Oct. 20 with game photos and result)
By Ray Hamill — Friday night was senior night for Eureka High football, and this year’s class is certainly one that will be remembered.
A total of 24 elder statesmen were honored at Albee Stadium before the Big 4 clash with Del Norte, which the Loggers won 44-6, and it’s a group that continues to write a remarkable legacy.
The Loggers have now clinched at least a share of a second straight league title, and are an impressive 20-1 dating back to the beginning of the 2017 season.
“It’s an incredible class,” head coach Jason White said. “If you think about it, in the last two years they’ve lost just one game.”
With one game remaining in the regular season, they look likely to be seeded second to Cardinal Newman in the North Coast Section playoffs.
Friday night won’t be this group’s final home game, but it was their final regular season game ever at Albee Stadium, and it was a time to celebrate the group.
And deservedly so.
Not just for their accomplishments, but for the manner in which they go about their business.
Side by side
It’s also a group that has been together for some time, with the majority of these players lining up side by side for much of the past decade since first playing youth football as eight-year-olds.
“We’re like a family,” linebacker/tight end Tyce Mullins said this week.
Individually, they have also left their mark.
Quarterback Cruz Montana has passed for more than 3,300 yards and 36 touchdowns (and counting) in two seasons as a starter, with 43 career TDs.
Mullins has been a force on both sides of the ball, leading the team in tackles for two straight seasons, while playmakers like Isley Tulmau, Ryan Sylvia, Zach Reed, Tony Barreno and Casey Sidoti are all enjoying big seasons, most of them on both offense and defense.
In the offensive backfield, the combo of big backs Robert Weir and Alex Miller has given the team a potent one-two punch that wears down opposing defenses, while on the other side of the ball, Gage and Hunter Ethridge have also had a huge impact on a defensive unit that has suffocated opponents all year.
More importantly, this is a group that continues to entertain, playing some fantastic football.
Much of it, as with any football team, begins in the trenches, where a host of senior leaders have been setting the tone all year.
Players like Lari Racines, Isaak Gutierrez, John Foster, Reece Walters, Zander Young and Ryan McLean have led the way and gives head coach Jason White a composed reliable group to count on.
Others too have played their part, players, like Jonathan King, Kayden Jimenez, Austin Maples, Miles Walters, Jason Baisley, Adrian Trapero and Dominick Anguiano
Just how far this group can go remains to be seen, but an NCS title would appear well within their grasp, and a playoff matchup with a loaded Cardinal Newman team is one local fans would relish.
For now, though, it’s a veteran group of players that continues to take it one week and one game at a time.
And this week that includes honoring them for what they’ve given Eureka football and remembering them as a class for the ages.
We love you John Foster. To say we are proud is an understatement. What you have accomplished and the man you have become has us all emotional as we watch you finish up High School Football..On to big things my Son! Love Mom.