Owls swoop in for a win at Superbowl
The Oakmont Elementary Owls treaded water with the Sumner Elementary Dolphins before finally taking home the win with a score of 14-7 in the 14th annual Superbowl game held Wednesday at Oakmont. The game is part of the Best Learning After School Time (BLAST) program.
The game started quick with the Dolphins scoring the first touchdown of the game within the first few minutes. But Oakmont was not far behind. Once sixth grader Alex Araneda was passed the ball there was no stopping him. Alex ran from Sumner’s endzone to score the first touchdown for Oakmont and tie the game for the first half.
The game stayed close until the last two minutes. Sumner worked hard to keep the ball from Oakmont but was unable to move up the field. With a minute left, Alex was passed the ball by co-captain Julian Zacarias and scored the second touchdown for Oakmont, pulling them into the lead.
Sumner was not going down without a fight. In the last 45 seconds, Co-captain Christopher Lopez got the ball and looked for an opening in the endzone, hoping to tie up the game. Oakmont Owl Alex ran interference and blocked the throw to win the game.
“It feels great, we played our hardest and played like adults and that’s why I think we won,” Julian said.
Julian made sure to tell his team to never give up and keep trying their hardest even if they were losing.
“The score last year was like 35-0, I just stopped keeping score at one point. So to have a comeback like this is important to the team,” Oakmont Coach Julio Zacarias said.
Mr. Zacarias’ son, Julian, lead the Owls with sixth grader Jonathan Manzo. This is Jonathan and Alex’s last time playing for the Owls since both boys will be transitioning to middle school.
Both the Owls and the Dolphins had been preparing for the game since the fall. After announcing sign-ups, BLAST students were able to volunteer to play or be cheerleaders for the game. Sumner had teammates from as young as first grade and Oakmont with team members as young as second grade.
“The most important part of the game is the aspect of teamwork. The kids are learning that they can’t accomplish a goal without their team,” Oakmont principal Stacey Stewart said.
While the games started before site supervisor Jackie Killam took over at Oakmont, she has worked to make the game bigger each year. The Dolphins have been Oakmont’s rivals since the start of the Superbowl tradition.
As a way to include more students in the game. the Claremont High School Marching Band performed for the half-time. They played four pieces and had the colorgaurd team accompany their perform. Meanwhile, the Owls and the Dolphins returned to their coaches for a pep talk in preparation for the second half.
During the actual game, the cheer squads from both sides kept spirits high with taunting and encouraging chants for the players. Parents and classmates applauded the players throughout the game.
Even though the Dolphins were defeated this year, it did not extinguish their excitement for the game. Since the team started training, veteran Sumner player Christopher has worked to teach the younger children how to play.
“A lot of the team didn’t even know how to throw; they got together and practiced throwing, pulling flags and catching,” Dolphin Coach, Deborah Coyle said.
Ms. Coyle cheered the team on and encouraged good sportsmanship throughout the game.
“Hopefully, they are learning respect for each other and the importance of being a team. I like having the family unit here and not just separate programs; we’re like one big happy family,” Ms. Coyle said.
Oakmont was presented with a brand new trophy after the game that will be engraved with the date of the game and the final score. The trophy will be engraved and housed at the winning school for all future games. In celebration, Oakmont held a Superbowl party on Thursday.
—Christina Collins Burton