It was a historic opening night Friday night at Badger Stadium as Yosemite High School played its first game of the 2016 season as an ‘independent’ team after withdrawing from the North Sequoia League.
There was a lot of pre-game energy by the team and a spirited student body section in the stands that felt like this could be the night to break the Badger’s 27-game losing streak.
The players were hungry to break the streak dating back to 2013 - and they did it in a big way with a solid 35-0 victory over the Bulldogs, a small school Sac-Joaquin Section power with a winning tradition.
YHS came out of the huge inflated Badger helmet ‘tunnel’ and onto Raupp Field with a lot of emotion and sporting new uniforms before more than 700 hometown fans.
The Badgers won with dominant physical play, nine quarterback sacks, and got its first shutout in years, while the running game produced over 200 yards from quick running backs Luke Howell and John Varian scoring two touchdowns apiece.
“The win felt great,” said four-year starting quarterback Tristan Eames. It is Eames’s first career win as a starter, and it was also head coach JD Burnett’s first career win at YHS.
“We had a good game,” said Burnett. “We wanted to dominate physically. Our pass rush was a huge difference. We didn’t want to give their quarterback a lot of time and we didn’t.”
The Badger JV team played a close first half and was down 13-7, but Le Grand pulled away in the fourth quarter notching a 26-14 win. Badger quarterback sophomore Tyson Mansfield connected with freshman wide out Thomas Gardner for two touchdowns.
For complete details and photos, see the Sept. 1 edition of the Sierra Star.