football lines up for a play

Football Struggles to Win in League

On Friday, Oct. 25, Dana played their final game this season against San Juan Hills, losing with a score of 14-57.

Against San Juan, sophomore Bo Kelly got his third straight start of the season and threw of 168 yards on 13 completions. He completed 46.4% of his passes. Senior Liam Boersma lead the team with 15 total tackles as well as 5.0 tackles for loss.

On Friday, Oct. 18, the team faced Aliso Niguel. At the end of the first quarter, Dana was only down 0-3; however, the gap widened as the game progressed, and Aliso Niguel ended up defeating the Dolphins 37-10, with the Dolphins suffering their third consecutive loss of the season.

Bo Kelly got the start, and he completed 15 out of his 33 pass attempts for 172 yards and one touchdown pass, Dana’s only score of the game. Junior Kellen McGrath had a monster game at the wide receiver position. He accumulated 134 receiving yards on only five receptions. His 62-yard catch was the team’s largest reception of the night.

McGrath reflected on his success this season, stating it originated mainly from “all the work in the offseason.” He also “worked hard to take the next step to play at the varsity level and plan[s] to do the same for next year.” His primary goal for next year is to “put our team in the best position possible to make playoffs and hopefully win the division.”

football lines up for a play

Despite conceding 37 points to their opponents, the team had some noteworthy individual performances on the defensive side of the ball. Senior Landen Miller led the team with 12 tackles and also accumulated 1.0 tackle for loss. For senior Liam Boersma, his performance was business as usual, hurrying the opposing QB two times as well as sacking the opposing QB one and a half times. He also tackled well, earning a total of 11 sacks with four tackles for loss.

The defense out-tackled their opponent, accumulating 88 total tackles compared to Aliso’s 44. Both teams, however, had success getting to the backfield, for they tied each other with seven tackles for loss.

Senior Trevor Gartlan played his final season in a Dana Hills uniform. He unfortunately suffered a torn labrum towards the end of the season, but he greatly contributed to the team’s success on both sides of the ball throughout the season. Gartlan started that the highlights of his senior season were “beating Northwood in OT and beating Laguna Beach,” two close games where Dana demonstrated much resilience to come out on top. His advice to the returning members is to “ball out.”

Boermsa reflected on his past four years being a part of the Dana Hills Football Team. “It taught me how to manage my life under pressure of practice and games. It brought brotherhood and a space to go all out and not get in trouble. Last it was the way to get all pressures of life away for the time I’m practicing or playing a game. It was the most enjoyable time of my life and I’ll miss playing here.”

Lastly, Saavedra commented on what he learned over the past four years. “Control what you can control. When I had the opportunity to transfer, I chose to stay at Dana and try to leave it better than when I got there. I persevered and overcame many obstacles out of my control. But in the end, with only 5 players remaining from our freshman team, we made it happen. I also learned that in order for players to play as a team, the coaches have to play as a team too. Players win games, but it’s up to coaches to win championships. And the only thing worse than being outplayed is being out coached since you can’t control it.”

After a historic season, the team hopes to have even more success next year.

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