Will the Tigers hang onto the bell for a fifth year in a row?
■ By Corey Evan / Reporter
For the San Jacinto Tigers’ football team, ringing the victory bell for the past four years is an accomplishment nobody can take away. So what can Head Coach Aric Galliano do to top that? Push them to go for a five-year run.
But how will the Tigers be able to pull off a fifth consecutive win, let alone the Mountain Pass League title? Galliano took time off from football practice and sat down with The Valley Chronicle on Monday Aug 6 to talk strategy: “We’ve got a lot of young kids that are returning! Same thing we do every day is come to ‘work’ every day, hit the weight room hard in the off season, still continue to hit the weight room during their fall camp, and every day trying to go out there and get better. Ultimately, it comes down to how we’re going to play against ‘them’. Hopefully we can try to give (Citrus Hill) apush.”
Galliano has observed that Citrus Hill hasn’t lost a league game in ten years.
Between JV and varsity teams, Galliano has 83 Tigers to manage. “What we’ve done in the past year is we’ve upped our preseason schedule, playing a little tougher opponents than we have been in the past to try to prepare us for league. And ultimately prepare us for playoffs!”
Galliano’s strategy remains the same when it comes to holding onto the bell, which San Jacinto has had custody of since 2014.
Camaraderie, as in making sure the team comes together both on and off the field, is always high on Galliano’s list of priorities. “We’ve done a great job of coming together as a football team, the young kids buying into what we’re doing, our philosophies on both sides of the football… We tell them, you control your effort.”
While on that note, Galliano wishes to highlight these Tigers’ efforts:
Sophomore Kajiya Hollawayne, the Tigers’ quarterback, is really hoping to make the pass on the field. His dad’s watching: “He’s always been there for me, and he taught me everything I know.” His mom and siblings are also excited to see him play.
Senior Kaleb Hervey, Tigers’ tight end, is looking forward to being with his team on and off the field: “Just having a good time with the team, pushing to push off to the semifinals… and just having a great season.” He’s especially doing this for his family, including his niece.
Senior Kyle Fehmie is looking forward to teaching his teammates what he knows about the game. “My family and friends, I have a couple of friends out here that came out here and kept me going, and then my dad always pushed me to play football.” He also mentioned his mom was also pivotal in keeping him on the field. Fehmie is also excited to have a young QB on the team. “He’s pretty good at what he does.”
As for the October Battle for the Bell, Fehmie said: “Hemet aren’t taking that thing back!”