By Shrida Pandey, Staff Writer
// Using phenomenal performances from a core group of players, the Acalanes junior varsity (JV) football team finished their season with a perfect 9-0 record.
The team won in dominating fashion, allowing only 18 points the entire season. The Dons were able to shut out 7 of their 9 opponents including league rivals Las Lomas, Alhambra, Campolindo, and Miramonte.
Although undefeated, the season started out with fixable problems that affected the Dons level of play.
“In the beginning of the season we struggled with discipline a lot, such as jumping offsides, or not being able to hold our snap counts,” receiver Jack Wood said.
However, after the first initial weeks the team was able to cut down on these mistakes, helping them excel on the field.
“We seemed to almost mature in a way and those mental errors were much more rare, especially in the last few games,” Wood said
One of the four captains of the team and running back, Evan Malmquist attributed success to team chemistry.
“There is a bond like no other team and that is why we were so successful. We knew we had talent but that talent had to be shaped. We hold ourselves and others accountable to make sure we were doing everything we could to succeed,” Malmquist said.
Wood agreed with Malmquist about the camaraderie between teammates.
“The chemistry on our team is like no other. We are always there for each other and we work very well together as a team,” said Wood.
This teamwork was apparent when they played against Vintage on Sept. 6, beating the Crushers 43-12.
Quarterback Luke Souza believed the win led the team to elevate their level of play even higher.
“This was the start of our motivation as a team throughout the season. We tied them last year so for us to beat them 43-12 was huge,” said Souza.
Despite impressive wins in non-league play, the highlight of the JV football season was pummeling rival Campolindo 22-0.
“The most important games was the Campo game because we were able to make sure that the class of 2022 Cougars never know what it’s like to beat Acalanes,” linebacker and captain Logan Ketcham said.
After Campo, the Dons finished out the season strong, defeating both Miramonte 49-0 and Alhambra 36-0 to preserve their perfect season.
The Dons excellent season is a hopeful predictor of the Acalanes varsity team’s future.
The team’s success was a reflection of four months of hard work and dedication, and Souza does not take it for granted.
“It was one of the greatest feelings in my life. I was so honored to be apart of an undefeated team,” he said.