HHS Receives $35,000 Grant From Chargers & Game Highlights

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Holtville High School Athletic Director, Steve Cato and Michelle Johnson stand with representatives from the other schools that received a portion of the $250,000 given out by the Chargers Champions. The money will be used for various projects at each school. Photo by Jim Predmore

By
Jim Predmore
Holtville High School Athletic Director, Steve Cato and Physical Education Instructor Michelle Johnson got a rare chance to go out on the field at Qualcomm Stadium prior to Sunday’s game in which the Chargers took on the last year’s Super Bowl Champions Seattle Seahawks. In a presentation during the pre-game show, Holtville High School was awarded a $35,000 grant that will be used to purchase weight training equipment and other essential equipment for their athletic department.
Mr. Cato and Mrs. Johnson were glowing with excitement as they prepared to walk onto the field. Mr. Cato took the time to point out the Head Coach, Mike McCoy and the Owner, Alex Spanos, of the Chargers to Ms Johnson.
There were seven schools that were represented and awarded a portion of the $250,000 in grant funds.
Kimberly Layton, the Chargers Director of Public Affairs & Corporate/Community Relations, gathered the representatives from the seven schools and instructed that at 12:43 they would be going out. When that time came, they were escorted to the middle of the field to stand on the 50 yard line, where the stadium announcer announced the school and their representatives by name along with the amount that they were going to receive.
Mr. Cato and Ms. Johnson were announced in front of a sold out stadium. Mr. Cato stated “We are eternally grateful to the San Diego Chargers. Everybody in the Charger Public Relation office was so cordial. They are a first class operation. It was truly a great game to attend.”
For almost two decades, the Spanos family and the Chargers Community Foundation have been providing funds to educational institutions throughout San Diego County. This passion for our county’s schools led to the creation of the Chargers Champions program in February of 2000.
Since that time, Chargers Champions has provided more than $4 million to assist schools, teachers and students. Each year the Chargers Champions School Grant Program allows public and private schools within San Diego County to apply for badly-needed funding for physical fitness, nutrition or athletic programs on their campuses.
Since the beginning of the School Grant Program, more than 100 schools have received funding for projects such as outdoor fitness trails, weight rooms, running tracks or even Sparks equipment.
Through the Chargers Champions School Grant Program, the Spanos family and the San Diego Chargers are committed to improving the health and well-being of the students, regardless of where they reside.
The Chargers Champions School Grant program was created to assist San Diego County schools with meeting some of the basic physical fitness, nutrition and athletic needs of their students.
The program annually provides selected schools with grants of up to $75,000 for high schools; up to $40,000 for middle schools and up to $30,000 for elementary schools.
This year’s Chargers Champions’ recipients that were honored on the field during Sunday’s game were:
Rancho Buena Vista High School, Vista $70,000 for new weight room.
Woodrow Wilson Middle School, San Diego $40,000 for new indoor fitness center.
Del Dios Middle School, Escondido $35,000 for indoor fitness room.
Holtville High School, Holtville $35,000 for weight training & fitness equipment
Edison Elementary School, San Diego $30,000 for action based learning lab and a Rail Yard course.
Monarch School (K-12), San Diego $24,000 for artificial turf field for soccer.
Holy Family School, San Diego $15,000 for sports & fitness equipment.

The Charger & California Heat Put the “BOLT ON” the Seahawks

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Reggie Walker celebrates after the Chargers strip the football from the Seahawk’s Percy Harvin on a kickoff return and the Chargers recovery for another opportunity for the chargers. Rivers took the opportunity and connected with Gates for another touchdown. Jim Predmore photo

On a hot Sunday afternoon there were a large group from Holtville that traveled to San Diego, to not only watch the Chargers take on the Seattle Seahawks, there was also to be a special presentation made to Holtville High School. The High School was being presented with a $35,000 grant from the San Diego Chargers just prior to the Game.

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Rivers wore a No. 61 on his helmet instead of No. 17 to honor Hardwick and gave an emotional postgame interview, adding “he may not wear that helmet again with that 61 sticker,” and that his presence was missed in the locker room this week.

The game started with San Diego winning the toss and decided to kick off.
Seattle started on their eight-yard line and drove down to the San Diego 33, however on a 3rd-and-8, linebacker Dwight Freeney swallowed up quarterback Russell Wilson for a sack. Freeney’s sack moved Seattle out of field goal range and the ‘Hawks were forced to punt.
After the touchback, the Chargers started driving downfield. The Bolts converted three third downs to take them to the Seattle 24, however Rivers was sacked by Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett. Nick Novak went out for a 40-yard field goal attempt and his kick was good. Chargers lead 3-0 with 2:52 remaining in the first quarter.
Nick Novak’s kick off went out of bound at the one-yard line, so Seattle got the ball at their 40. On a third-and-1 late in the first quarter, Harvin lined up in the backfield, took a pitch from Russell Wilson and bolted toward the edge, tiptoeing the sideline en route to an electrifying touchdown run that put his Seahawks up 7-3 on the San Diego Chargers. There was no delay between the touchdown and extra point, even though the first replay aired by Fox clearly showed Harvin’s right foot stepped out of bounds midway through his run.

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refs make mistakes. That’s why there’s a replay system to correct human error.  But what happens when the humans never go to the replay? The Chargers were out of luck, that’s what. The NFL has admitted that they made an error.
At the end of the first quarter, the Chargers, end up being down 7-3, face a 2nd-and-2 from the Seattle 36-yard line.
The Chargers drove the ball down to the 6 yard line and increased their lead to 10-7 after Rivers found Gates for a 6-yard touchdown and Novak’s good extra point.
Seattle was forced to punt on their first possession of the second quarter after intense pressure from San Diego’s defense. After a short punt, the Chargers get the ball on their own 45-yard line.
San Diego took the ball to the Seattle 24, but the drive stalled and Novak came out for a 43-yard field goal. His kick was good and San Diego led 13-7 with 4:40 remaining in the half.
Percy Harvin went to return the kick off the Chargers after a field goal, but he coughed up the football. Kavell Conner forced the Harvin fumble and Darrell Stuckey recovered the ball at Seattle’s 28-yard line. After getting positive yardage from Danny Woodhead, two holding penalties on San Diego backed the team up; however, Rivers and the team remained composed and Rivers connected with Gates again for a touchdown. After the good Novak extra point, Chargers lead 20-7 over the Seahawks with just over a minute left to play in the half.
After taking the kickoff to their own 31, Seattle wasted no time kicking it into gear. After a big defensive holding penalty against San Diego, Wilson found Robert Turbin for a 3-yd touchdown. Hauschka’s extra point was good and the Chargers led 20-14.
The Chargers opened the second half but were forced to punt. The Seahawks also punted on their first possession of the quarter.
Philip Rivers made some great plays on his team’s drive off the Seattle punt. He found Gates for a gain of 19, scrambled for 12-yards and found Eddie Royal for 16. On 3rd-and-7, Rivers scrambled right and was hit late out of bounds by Bruce Irvin. Chains kept moving for San Diego and Rivers found Gates for the hat trick touchdown. Novak’s extra point was good and San Diego increased their lead 27-14 with 3:01 remaining in the third.

Philip Rivers goes back and connects to Keenan Gates for the third touchdown which took the score to 27-14.
Philip Rivers goes back and connects to Keenan Gates for the third touchdown which took the score to 27-14.

With fresh legs, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense got things going quickly. Wilson lobbed a short pass left to Marshawn Lynch for a 14-yard touchdown. With a good extra point the Seahawks increased their lead. 27-21, San Diego.
After a six-yard run by Mathews, the Chargers open the fourth quarter with a 2nd-and-4 from the Seahawks’ 26.
The Bolts and Seahawks traded punts on their opening possessions of the quarter.
San Diego started driving downfield on their second possession but their drive was halted at the Seattle 47 when the Seahawks’ defense finally got to Rivers.
After failing to get anywhere, the Seahawks faced a third down at the two-minute warning but failed to convert and went for it on fourth. San Diego brought tremendous pressure and Wilson threw an incomplete pass turning the ball over on downs.

Keenan Allen gets a smile on his face as the Chargers hold the Seahawks on fourth down giving the ball back to the Chargers.
Keenan Allen gets a smile on his face as the Chargers hold the Seahawks on fourth down giving the ball back to the Chargers.

San Diego took a series of knees and Nick Novak kicked a 28-yard field goal to increase the lead 30-21.
The Seahawks had two plays left but they weren’t enough and the Chargers defeated the ‘Seahawks 30-21 in the team’s home opener.

Antonio Gates was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for first time in his career after scoring 3 touchdowns during the game against the Seahawks. Photos by Jim Predmore
Antonio Gates was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for first time in his career after scoring 3 touchdowns during the game against the Seahawks. Photos by Jim Predmore

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Getting an Opportunity to take Photos at Chargers Game Priceless.

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By Jim Predmore

Last Tuesday as I went over to Holtville High School to take photos of the volleyball game, I ran into Holtville’s Athletic Director, Mr. Steve Cato. After a short discussion about the volleyball game, he informed me that the High School was going to be receiving a $35,000 grant from the San Diego Chargers and that it was going to be presented to them on the field prior to Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. He explained that there would be photos taken and that he would forward them to me. I asked him to send me all the information that he had so that I could report on it.
After talking to Mr. Cato I started thinking to myself that this might be something that I could cover and started to research on how someone would be able to get a press pass for the Charger game. I found a Chargers Media website that had an online application, so I gave it a shot. I filled out the application and gave a short reason for the request, mentioning the fact the Holtville High School would be receiving the grant at the game. I sent that off Wednesday morning, and then it kind of just slipped my mind. The website stated “The Chargers do not credential freelancers, personal blog sites, fan sites or college media.” On Thursday afternoon I received an email stating something about photo credentials. I had thought to myself that someone wanted to use one of the photos that I had taken. Then I opened the email and realized that it was from the Chargers. This is what it said: “Hi James. We will provide one photo credential for you. The pass will be in Media Will Call, Gate H. Thanks.” I was shocked, but also didn’t know what to expect. I spent all day Friday and Saturday wondering what I would be able to do when I arrived at the game and what kind of photos I would be able to take.
I left Holtville around 8:00 am on Sunday morning, arriving in San Diego around 10am but it took 30 minutes to get into Qualcomm parking lot due to traffic. Once I parked, I started my search for Gate H. I found it and went up to the window where they asked for my ID. I gave it to them and they handed me a pass and had me walk over to the security table where they looked at my pass again. They directed me down to the field. I went down an elevator and then down a hallway, walked by the Chargers locker room, made one more turn and down another long hall way and walked right out on the field. This was more than 2 hours before the game, I noticed that there were a few players on the field and then the pyro technicians blasted the Charger Tunnel testing the fireworks. I was directed to a table where I was to pick up a vest that I was to were during the game. I asked them where I could go, they said just stay behind the yellow line.
It was hot, around 115 on the field. I didn’t care, I just drank a lot of water while took some pictures before the game. I found Mr. Cato and took shots on the field at the 50 yard line of the presentation, the game started and 600 photos later it was over. But what an experience! It was something I will remember for a very long time and look forward to being able to do it again.

Here are just a few of the shots that I got:

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Football Players Sharpen Up Their Skills at Football Carnival

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Holtville’s Esteban Torres #67 goes after the ball, trying to strip it away from the Calexico Bulldog player.

By Jim Predmore
This year’s football carnival was cut down to a two-day event due to last week’s rain storm which canceled the Junior Varsity carnival that was to be held at Southwest High School.
But the weather cleared up for Friday’s event at Holtville High School which brought on Varsity team’s from Holtville, Central, Calexico, Southwest, and CETYS,.
The Carnival was a fundraising event for the Imperial Valley Football Coaches Association, with food and drinks being provided by the Holtville Athletic Club. The proceeds will go to benefit the Imperial Valley Coaches Association and the teams, and will also be used for the IVFCA Hall of Fame Banquet that will be held in March of 2015.
The Carnival gave the teams the opportunity to face off between other teams from the Valley and one from Mexicali, giving the players the opportunity to sharpen up their skills prior to the season beginning. There were four games played by all of the teams, giving some players a chance to play in some other positions and the opportunity for the coaches to see how they perform.
Football season will kick off this week with Holtville heading down into Mexico to take on CETYS High School in a non-league game. Brawley will be traveling to San Diego to face off against Hoover High School. Imperial will be playing Cibola High School at home. Southwest will take on Coronado at Southwest High School. Central also has a Home game and will be playing against Kofa from Yuma. Calexico will go to Thermal to face off against Desert Mirage.
All games are scheduled to start at 7:00pm on Friday.

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