Cavaliers Face Off Against South Miami Cobras

Cavaliers think of ways to make a comeback during half-time.

Maria Fernandez

Cavaliers think of ways to make a comeback during half-time.

Lucia Chico, Staff Writer

The Cavaliers football kicked off the season with their first game against the South Miami Cobras, after having to initially cancel their first game due to weather concerns. Playing at Tropical Park on Thursday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m., the Cavalier football team struggled through first-game nerves and ended up accepting defeat with a score of 37-0.

The game follows up on last year’s short season, in which players only experienced a limited number of games due to the pandemic and a large number of game cancelations. This year’s varsity team is composed of primarily junior and sophomore starters due to the large number of senior members who left at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. This is because, at the end of the 2020-2021 school year, the football team had to say goodbye to a large class of seniors. The team also saw departures by 11 players who transferred to other schools.

The Cavalier starters prepare to hear the whistle blow at second down, first quarter. (Maria Fernandez)

The Cavaliers were also unable to hear from their head coach, Coach Welsh, who was sick the day of the game and decided to watch from a distance, to make sure he didn’t get anyone else sick.

Due to factors like these, the team was unable to hold a strong defensive line against the Cobras. They managed to slither by, no pun intended, mostly on the wide ends where Cobra wide receivers were faster than the defense and able to tackle without them sprinting a significant number of yards.

“For this game, I’ve just been trying to go wherever the ball goes. I try to make the play as best as I can but, sometimes it doesn’t go my way so I have to rely on my teammates but, I trust my teammates enough to make the play,” freshman Ethan Noval said.

Junior Pedro Wenzel laughs with his coach when sitting out because of a leg injury. (Maria Fernandez)

The night also saw two injuries; the first one coming as a blow to the back of the leg to junior kicker Pedro Wenzel as he went for a kick that was not covered by the defensive line. The injury caused him to have to sit out the rest of the game. Another injury came to the second kicker as he too was tackled when attempting to punt the ball.

“What happened was that I got the snap, which was a little bit low, so I went down to grab the ball and the punt it, but at that point, two defensive players were about to tackle me so, since I raised my left leg up to kick, they struck me under my leg, where we have no padding. They hit a nerve which caused the pain to go all the way down my leg,” junior Pedro Wenzel.

Aside from this tough loss, there are still plenty of games left in the season for the Cavaliers to reach their full potential. There were two different occasions where a touchdown was almost claimed for the Cavaliers. The first came in the second quarter as senior corner slot Shawn Reyes completed a 20-yard run at first down. The first touchdown was in sight for the Cavaliers but Reyes was tackled just shy of the touchdown line. The Cavaliers were unable to complete the play in the next three downs less than a yard away.

The Gables Cheerleaders chant in support of the team. (Maria Fernandez)

This year, the Cavaliers are counting on two guest players, a sophomore duo from Miami Central High School — Hakeem Labrassrere and Guylijah Theodore. Theodore completed a 20-yard run which ended in a touchdown but did not count due to foul play by the Cavalier defense. The two wide receivers usually play together, only that Labrassrere is recovering from a broken arm and will not be able to play until the next game. It should be exciting to see what these two can contribute to the team, not only during games but in practice as well.

For now, the Cavalier football team is focused on preparing for their next game on Friday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. on the Tropical Park field. The Cavaliers will face Booker T. Washington High School.