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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

High School Football: Wilcox’s State Championship Game Experience Will Be Different This Time

Luther K. Glenn can’t remember the last time he took a road trip to Los Angeles.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound senior at Wilcox estimated that he was probably 10 years old when he returned.

He remembers watching the Chargers as a freshman from the stands on campus on December 15, 2018. That was when Wilcox claimed the CIF State Division 3-A title in Santa Clara.

Three years later the Chargers (10–4) ride a nine-game winning streak in Orange County to seek another state championship, on the biggest stage offered by the CIF: Saddleback College.

How will the atmosphere feel?

“Hopefully it’s not all that different,” said Glenn, who tops the Central Coast section with 2,218 rushing yards. “Our team has faced adversity and we feed the crowd. So hopefully the crowd is on the rise, our mates are excited and we just go out and get that too. ,

The next and last opponent in Saturday’s Division 2-A tilt is San Diego’s Scripps Ranch (13-1), whose kickoff is scheduled for noon.

Wilcox’s coach Paul Rosa accepted a state trophy on his own turf during the fourth season, but he’s not sure what to expect this weekend, about 400 miles from home.

“I’ve never been there, so I’m excited and a little nervous to take this group on the bus for eight hours — it doesn’t sound like fun,” Rosa smiled. “But I’m glad we’re leaving and it will definitely be a great experience. But they’re worth it.”

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No player on the current roster was on the field as a freshman.

Defensive end Pace Nelson, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound senior who recorded a pair of sacks during his 35-21 win over Manteca in the NorCal D-2A final this past weekend, always imagined him as May get the same opportunity as their predecessors.

“When I was a new person and I was seeing them, I knew I wanted to be there,” Nelson said. “I was excited, man. And our team, we’ve come a long way. We’ve made a lot of progress and I’m proud of our team.”

Saddleback College, located in Mission Viejo, is the end of the road for the Chargers.

After losing four out of five games to start the season, Wilcox hasn’t experienced a loss since September.

There is no more football left after Saturday, and the seniors on the roster understand that their high school careers will come to a halt after another 48 minutes on the gridiron.

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