By Vincent PAGE
Summer means different things to different people. For some it means spending time at the beach, for others it means relaxing and enjoying friends and family until school starts back up in August. Bur for 100 or so people at Crescenta Valley High School, on Tuesday it meant starting a new tradition.
Hudson Gossard, the new head coach of the varsity football team at CV, hosted the inaugural alumni flag football game on Tuesday when over 30 former Falcons tied their laces once again to go up against the varsity team in a scrimmage.
The alumni age range was drastic with some members young enough to have been on the 2014 CIF championship squad and others old enough that their final snap as a Falcon football player came before their opponents were born.
An example of this was when John Nelson, a coach for the JV team, lined up as running back beside Evan Nelson, his son and 2016 CVHS graduate.
To watch the game was thrilling. It went by passing league rules, seven offensive players against seven defensive players. It was a shootout from the beginning as both sides continuously scored long touchdowns.
As the game went on, though, the defenses began buckling down. As the teams got a feel for their opponents, they began jumping routes as both teams combined for a handful of interceptions on the day. The teams were evenly matched all the way to the last play.
With a tie game following a huge defensive stop by the alumni, they took over on offense once again. Led by Evan Nelson, they scored the go-ahead touchdown, leaving the varsity team with the toughest (and first) test of its 2019 season.
After being stifled on their last possession, the varsity team marched down the field with no regard. They tied up the game, sending it to a sudden death overtime to decide the first winner of the CVHS alumni game.
After stopping the varsity team on its first attempt to score, the alumni took over at the five-yard line for its first chance to end the game and go home winners. The offense spread out, and Evan Nelson hit a slanting Will Rees in the end zone, capturing the victory for his team.
Despite the loss, the game did have some advantages for the varsity players. They went up against a team composed of much older players and were left without their head coach/offensive play caller in Gossard. He, along with his toddler daughter Ellie, took over commentary duties.
Gossard and the rest of the coaches made it clear they want this to be a yearly tradition. The brought home the idea of family and, whether the players are former or current, there is always a family within the football program and they hope to drive that into their 2019 season.