After a promising display throughout the season, the Holtville Vikings were eliminated from the CIF playoffs in the quarterfinals Nov. 15 in a face off against Mission Bay Senior High School at home.
Both home and away stands
featured their fair share of spectators as the game began. The Vikings failed
to gain momentum during the first half, scoring no points and allowing two
Mission Bay touchdowns, leaving the score 14-0 going into the third quarter.
Despite a slow start, the
Vikings ramped up their play and Spencer Hilfiker managed to throw a touchdown
pass to Noah Jongeward, although the extra point was missed.
The score was 14-6 going
into the fourth when Abraham Ramos caught another touchdown pass from Hilfiker,
this time followed by a two-point conversion caught by Jongeward and thrown by
The 14-14 tie would be
the closest Holtville would come to victory as Mission Bay managed to score one
last touchdown during the fourth quarter for a 21-14 win.
“We handled ourselves
well against a larger school who also form part of a much larger division,”
said Vikings Coach Jason Turner. “We’re slowly learning that we can play ‘up’
and shouldn’t be intimidated.”
He added, “I am very
proud of our players and finishing at 8-3 is definitely something to be proud
of, especially for our seniors, while also being something to build on for our
Regarding next season,
Turner said he already has plans in mind to better the team’s performance.
“Looking back, I realize
that we could have put in more work in the offseason and we will for next year,”
he confirmed. “We will have a championship-caliber roster next year. It will be
up to us coaches and players to perform–no excuses.”
The game against Mission
Bay marked the final high school performance for many of the team’s roster, a reality
the coaching staff has to confront at the end of every season.
“Losing all seniors is always
hard,” explained Turner. “We have all spent so much time together and formed
life-long bonds. We are a family.”
Turner reminisced about
his third year as head coach of the Holtville High School football team.
“It was a year of change. We added some
coaches, made changes in our QBs, and continued to pursue a winning culture at
all levels that will be sustainable for years to come, with or without me as
He added, “We have a lot of room for improvement and it starts with me. I will get better. 2020 will be better.”