The prized cup, now in its second year, transfers from West Valley to Hemet High for 2017
■ Corey Evan / Sports Reporter
When you have a quality athletic program, it attracts the masses to watch, play or sponsor. One way to show those masses your quality is to bring out the best in your team and bring home accolades as a result. Hemet High School has been doing that for about a century, and now adds one more award to their list of athletic accolades: the Ramona Cup.
Forged in 2016, this trophy is given to the high school football team in the city of Hemet which beats the other two. Last year, West Valley High was its inaugural recipient. But even before the end of the 2017 football season, the Mustangs surrendered the cup to the Bulldogs as of Friday, Oct. 27.
And for these seniors, it was the finish that they needed this season:
Quarterback Sebastian Roque says it was the whole team that made the difference, not just any single player.
“It’s obviously something we worked to get,” said Roque, “and I’ll say it was just us as a team working together.”
Fellow QB Max Lundgren is happy with the cup because it means all was not lost this season.
“It represents a turnaround in the season,” said Lundgren. “I think it was just team chemistry that brought us this far.”
And Nick Thornburg says having his dad coach his team wasn’t awkward but is rather a challenge.
“Sometimes I feel like he does push me harder because he expects more from me, not only on the field, but…in school and stuff,” admitted Nick.
On that note, head coach Jason Thornburg expressed his appreciation for all involved in this joyous occasion.
“I’m just happy for the kids and the school,” said Thornburg. “Just proud of the team, administration, and student body for their continued support.”
Also present for the winning moment was HHS Principal Emily Shaw, Ph.D., who presented the trophy to her Bulldogs.
“I am proud of the football team for their tenacity, character and persistence in both the game against Tahquitz and West Valley to win the Ramona Cup,” said Shaw. “As this is a new award for our schools, I know it meant a lot for the team to bring the Cup to Hemet High.”
Unfortunately, West Valley, the previous Cup winner, spent the 2017 season in a 0-10 slump, but Thornburg had nothing but positive things to say about them.
“Coach (Matt) Willard is a lot smarter than me, he’s doing a great job with the program,” said Thornburg. “Sometimes the scoreboard doesn’t always tell the story. His kids always play hard.”
On behalf of The Valley Chronicle staff, congratulations to this year’s Ramona Cup-winning Bulldogs! Perhaps this indicates a bell win next year? Only time will tell.