Rams Endure Through Difficult Loss Against East

Grace Ojewia, Staff Writer

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Meira Clifford
Day Klo fights for the ball on Friday’s game against the Leopards.

There is something to be said about persevering to the end. The Rams have definitely pushed through and worked hard throughout this difficult season and this Friday was no exception. In a devastating loss of 7-0 against East High, the Highland Rams fought all the way in their last home game of the season.

With the first half well under way, the Leopards scored the first goal but not without a fight. Soon after, the Rams came back in a moment where they were smoothly passing the ball around their rivals ending when Captain Julio Gutierrez attempted to pass the ball when an East forward stole it. However, Highland kept fighting and prevented East from scoring a goal. Nearing half time, Keeper Patrick Miles blocked an incoming goal in a nerve-racking moment that brought a collective and audible gasp from the audience.

The score was 2-0 when half time came around. In the second half, the Rams got some fouls that resulted in two free kicks for the Leopards. There were also some really close goal attempts from Highland. From the start the Rams defense was strong, blocking a lot of goals. They made East fight for every possession of the ball. Toward the end of the game, it was clear that not much could be done to win. However, the team stayed strong right through the last minutes.

“All I wanted from my players is that they gave it their all,” Gutierrez said. “That’s what they did. A lot of them, even when it was 6-0, 7-0, they were still trying and that’s all I could ask from them.”

There are a lot of freshmen and younger players on the varsity team this year, with not as much experience as a lot of the older players. The young team has definitely struggled, but their willingness and determination to work hard and improve has laid the foundation for the future.

“I think the seniors did a great job this year on including the freshmen in the team,” head coach and father of the captain, Julio Gutierrez said. “That’s going to be good for the team. They might not see what that seed they left there [becomes], but it’s definitely going to help the team because of what [they] did this year.”

However, this unique situation was not without its challenges. Through it all, they have come together as a team and learned to make it work as much as possible.

“Seeing how Highland is like a team and family,” forward Fabi Gonzalez said describing his favorite part of the season. “The Ram Fam, that actually you see it once you’re on the team.”

While the Rams haven’t had a win this year, they have put in their best effort and continued to play to their best ability even when things seemed at their hardest. Nonetheless, it has been a challenge that each of the players seem to take a hit from.

“It’s just all in their head. They have the skill, they have the potential,” last man Calder Rogers said. “In practice we do so well, but we just get sucked out.”

They have one more game before their season comes to a close. While not much can be done in a few days with regards to changes in their practice, the Rams hope to give it their all and do their best.

“For this next game we just want to go in a little more confident on the ball,” Miles said. “Keep possession, not be scared to go into challenges and win the ball.”

The one thing that is for sure is that each person will leave this season a better player and with a good sense of what it truly means to persevere until the end.

“Everybody is proud of each other. They had moments when they were losing [and] losing, but they never gave up,” Coach Gutierrez said. “They were friends. More than anything, I think that they like to work and get better and they’re not giving up. So, I think that is going to be next season’s strength that the guys are still going [and] are still trying hard.”

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Rams Endure Through Difficult Loss Against East