Wednesday, December 07, 2022

‘I’ve really lost sleep with this game.’ How the Serra Open Division is preparing to face powerhouse Mater Dei for the state title

High School Football: Friday's CCS, NCS Championship Scores, Saturday's Schedule

The Serra Padres have a lot of eyes on them as they march to state championship games this weekend, including Tom Brady.

Francis, Brady’s alma mater, Cera, two weeks earlier in the Central Coast section Division I, cashing in on the team’s only loss of the season, text coach Patrick Walsh, the most decorated Super Bowl quarterback in NFL history. Be sure to congratulate

“Yeah yes yes! Congratulations Patrick! So proud of you,” read Brady’s text to Walsh at 2:38 a.m. PT.

After Serra’s 41-0 wallop of Bellarmine College Prep a week earlier, Brady sent a voice message with words of wisdom and encouragement to share with the team.

“It’s fantastic to have Tom Brady give us words of encouragement,” said star receiver Hasan Mahasin, who has played a similar role to his teammates since suffering a knee injury in early October. “It’s the greatest QB ever. It’s great to hear him tell us how he feels about us and look at us and give us advice.

If only Brady could have a saddleback against Mater Dei Saturday night on the college grounds.

Selected by the California Interscholastic Federation to represent Northern California in the open division state championship game at Mission Viejo, the Padres do not need to state what they are up against., which publishes computer-generated high school football predictions on its website, projects that Cera will lose 48-0 on Saturday.

“The underdogs are probably an understatement. We are heavily underdogs,” Walsh said. “The reality of the situation is this is the country’s No. 1 team. And now that I’ve seen the whole movie and seen them play, I know. is why.”

Sera (11-1) is obviously a good team. But the Mater dei is different from any of the Padres’ rivals. The Monarchs boast a roster that includes some of California’s top college prospects, an undefeated record that includes wins over heavyweights Servite-Anaheim (twice), St. John’s Bosco-Bellflowers and Centennial-Corona, and a 504-145 scoring margin.

The Padres welcome the challenge.

“I remember my freshman year wondering what it would be like to play with the No. 1 team in the country,” said San Diego State-bound Mahasin. Year. “Hearing the news, I’ve always wanted to play against the best and compete against the best.”

With week one bye to prepare for the big game, the Padres have kept an even-tack in practice, staying safe but keeping the intensity high. However, what he learned about Mater Dei in the film room has led to some rapid heartbeat.

Each team agreed to share the film of 11 games with each other in preparation. On display is the otherworldly intensity, physicality and discipline with which they play.

“I’ve really lost sleep in this game, watching that movie,” Walsh said. “Combine that sheer fact, the reason for Division 1 talent isn’t just the physical equipment but the way they play. It’s legitimate Division 1 talent. Some will be playing someday on a Sunday. It can make you lose two hours of sleep.” ”

According to, four of California’s top 10 recruits in the senior category are from Mater Dei, including cornerback Domani Jackson and Ralik Brown in the top two recruits, respectively.

“Everyone felt blessed and honored to represent Northern California, especially against Mater Dei,” said Ryan Mahe III, a defensive end with Serra. “No doubt, one of the greatest teams playing high school right now. We feel blessed to play them and we can’t wait.”

Outside the movie room, Walsh and the team are laid-back about the big game. Mahe said he and some teammates are off social media to stay focused and avoid outside noise. They expect this to reach the spotlight like it is any other game.

“No hype or magic bullet,” Walsh said. “We have to be ourselves and stick to the process we believe in.”

The Padres are flying to Southern California on a private charter, courtesy of an anonymous donation, Walsh told

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