I had the pleasure to cover the Minarets versus Mariposa game last Friday as my friend and colleague Pete Reardon celebrated his birthday with his family. I was impressed with what I saw.
There was plenty of purple in the stands at the Mariposa Fairgrounds, even during the JV game. Head Coach Becher Marr and staff are doing a great job building this program. The Minarets team I saw was physical and went toe-to-toe with another physical team. The Grizzlies also play a hard-nosed style of football. Mistakes doomed the Mustangs, not lack of talent or effort.
Midway through the third quarter, Mustang strong safety Zach Redman epitomized the physical, never quit nature of Minarets. Zach filled the gap, stepped up and held his ground stopping a Mariposa runner. Zach went to the ground and initially could not move. The stands went silent. He was eventually taken to John C. Fremont hospital, but on way out he waved, and the crowd went crazy in response.
According to Coach Marr, Zach will be okay. There is no worse feeling for family to see their son lying helpless on the field. Zach suffered a temporary paralysis but he is back to moving normally. Zach probably won’t play against Tranquility this week, but should be okay to play against the Badgers on Sept. 22.
The sportsmanship of both teams was great to see. Unlike my era, when a player gets hurt, both teams kneel, many in prayer. The Mariposa players went up to Zach as he was being taken off the field in a stretcher, and Grizzly fans stood and cheered for him. It gave me goosebumps.
Badgers get prepared
It has been as weird of a season as I can remember. YHS opened at Le Grand and were playing a team that suffered six injuries, and were playing with only 10 players at the end. For the last two weeks, heat and smoke have canceled two straight Yosemite games.
Now YHS has a challenging and difficult two week stretch against two very physical foes. Coach Burnett and staff will practice as normal, but the YHS football program hasn’t practiced in nearly two weeks.
Mariposa and Minarets will both travel to play at Badger Stadium this Friday and next.
Both want to avenge losses to the Badgers last season and you can expect close, hard hitting games. For the Badger faithful, these are games you don’t want to miss. Believe me, Grizzly and Mustang fans will show up in force. It will be two great Fridays on Raupp Field at Badger Stadium.