It Was a Win-Win for Both Teams

Alvin Kim
Reflecting on the football season and a special moment between two players wearing different colors.

By Brandon HENSLEY

On Oct. 25 at Glendale High School, the Crescenta Valley High School football team defeated the Hoover Tornadoes 56-16. The big story that night was the return of Connor Van Ginkel, the star CV receiver who hadn’t played since being injured in Week 2. The more resonating story, though, one of good sportsmanship, was what happened afterward in cyberspace between Hoover senior receiver/linebacker Alvin Kim and Falcon senior offensive lineman Won Hyun Kim.

Both players shook hands at mid-field before the start of the game, but then Won messaged Alvin later to say how he appreciated Hoover’s fight to the end, and how other teams that lose badly to CV seem to “give up” before the final whistle. Alvin responded back, and it was posted on the Facebook page “CV Falcon Football.”

Both Pacific League teams missed the CIF playoffs this year, which was surprising for the Falcons who were passed over for an at-large bid after posting an 8-2 record. For Hoover, missing the postseason has become frustratingly commonplace, which Alvin detailed in his post.

Parents of Falcons players were either appreciative or overcome with emotion when reading what Alvin wrote. Below is the (minimally edited) online conversation between Alvin and Won. Both players consented to allowing CV Weekly to publish it.

Won Hyun Kim: Hey man I’m Won (below), I’m the center #57 from CV. We shook hands as captains. I just wanted to tell you and you’re team that I really respect you guys passion and determination for that game. Just wanted to tell from one player to another that I honestly respect how hard you guys work and the passion that you guys have for the game. It must be hard a lot of times and it amazes me that you guys keep your heads up and hustle to the very end. So hats off to you sir.

Alvin Kim: Hey, what’s up man.

I do remember shaking your hand. In fact, CV has earned so much respect from me (shown at right). Well, I started playing football during my freshman year. I joined the team during week 7. No previous experience and I joined without even knowing if I was any good at the sport.

After 3 years, about 4 of us remained on the team. We started off with 30+ kids as freshmen but after years of unsuccessful football program, all of them decided to quit. Losing stinks and sucks but I stopped thinking about it that way after last season. You guys probably don’t understand me since you guys have a great program there but stepping on the field with the team and coaches who already know that we are going to lose is terrible. We all know it but nobody says it. We are short on people. So short that I have to start at running back, receiver, tight end on offense depending on the formation, outside backer on D, and return/long snap on special teams. Sometimes I can’t even breathe on the field and it makes it much more difficult especially when we’re down by 20 points, 30, and many times, 40+…

To many of us, football is much more than a win-or-lose sports event. It is our passion and that is what keeps us going even after 4 quarters of ironman football where we never get to get off the field. I love football because it’s a true team sport. And thats what CV is great at. You guys play as a team. Hoover plays as a team but we just need more players and skills that can keep us in the competition.

My coach always emphasizes the word, “respect” after my former coach left us to Arcadia. Hoover never started this season to come out and win every single game. Our primary goal was to earn respect. Not pity. Respect. Your team is the first team that gave us that respect and I am very inspired by your teams humbleness.

You and I both know that your team is one of the top in the league and Hoover is the doormat but you were humble enough to message me like a true sportsman. That says a lot about your teams character and it is definitely something I should learn from you guys. You guys are great athletes as individuals but you guys aren’t selfish individuals. You guys play as a team and play with respect. Some schools … have no respect for Hoover. Throwing hail mary passes when they’re up by 60 points and kicking on- side every time.. it’s ridiculous.

In case you’re wondering why Hoover can’t compete in this league every year, it is not the coaching staff that is the problem. As you probably know, we have a big Armenian population. Most are immigrants which means their parents never played sports in the U.S. That being said, their parents can’t teach their children to play sports and that is the reason why most Armenians are not involved in school.

I sometimes wish I could play for a school where I can concentrate on one position and get a sip of water whenever I needed to but I’m just gonna try to make the most out of my last year playing football. Friday nights game was my 30th football game. Out of the 30, I’ve only won 6. I think even after a loss, if you are able to look back and say that you gave all you got and left it all on the field, you basically won that game.

Hoover football isn’t the most talented team but even against schools like Muir, Burbank, and CV, we are never afraid to compete because we play with our hearts and run on passion and desire rather than skills and talents.

Thanks a lot for being humble and giving us respect. Much respect to you all at CV and I hope you guys the best for the rest of the season. It is always good to win but keep staying humble just like how you guys are right now and inspire the others around you. Please tell your teammates that Hoover has much respect to you guys all and that I was very inspired by you guys humbleness.

Thanks again and stay healthy man.

Won Hyun Kim

2 Responses to "It Was a Win-Win for Both Teams"

  1. Karen Murray   January 30, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Alvin is one of the more outstanding student athlete over at Hoover. I don’t know him personally but I have heard a lot of things about him.
    I respect his passion for football and his humbleness; my son plays on the pop warner team and looks up on Alvin.
    I hope Hoover football grows over years and produces more student athletes like Alvin. This is the definition of sportsmanship. Props to both players!!

  2. Carrie Contreras   December 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I think that is one of the most heartwarming sports related stories I’ve read in a long time. I give credit to both sides, and think as trite as it sounds there are definitely winners on both sides of that match up.

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