Oakland, CA — On Thursday afternoon, December 12, the players and coaches of the McClymonds High School football team will board a bus heading for Southern California where they will play in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division 2-A Championship.
McClymonds is going for its fourth straight state championship after a big win on Saturday night, December 7. “We’ve got a lot of heart, we came out hard with our heart, played hard,” said McClymonds sophomore quarterback, Dreyan Paul. “It’s our defense, it’s our discipline, integrity, it’s the hard work we put in at practice.”
The CIF Northern California Championship win over the Manteca High Buffaloes happened the same day as the Celebration of Life for 2018 McClymonds High School graduate and football star, Ramone Sanders. Some of the players, including senior linebacker, #11 Semaj Sims were pallbearers in Ramone’s celebration. “We dedicated this game to him, we’re going to dedicate the next game to him,” said Semaj. “This is what he came out here to do, so we’re going to finish it for him. If he was still here, he would have been right there on the sideline, too.”
The final score against Manteca was 46-13. “It’s the love for the game and the passion. We love this game, and this is what we come out here to do. We come out here to win, and get better everyday,” added Semaj. He is the only player on the team to make it to his fourth straight championship game, as he played on varsity as a freshman.
After the game, Semaj shared the win and the trophy with Ramone’s parents. All the players were playing for Ramone who died last month of bone cancer, and after the game, some of them posed holding their hands with ten fingers up, representing Ramone’s number, 55.
After Saturday’s game Head Coach Michael Peters held up the trophy and then posed for pictures with the Oakland Firefighters who stood guard over the game in case of emergency. “It’s great for us. I mean, we’re actually putting our city on the map, putting our school on the map, that just tells you our preparation has been pretty good for the last four years,” said Peters.
The past three years, McClymonds was in CIF Divisions 4 and 5. This year, the Warriors moved up to Division 2, which means the competition has gotten progressively tougher each year. On Saturday, December 14 at noon, the 11-0 McClymonds Warriors will take on the 14-1 Pacifica High School (Oxnard) Tritons at Cerritos College near Los Angeles.
OUSD wishes the Warriors the best of luck as they chase their fourth straight state championship!
WHAT: McClymonds Football Team Leaves for Southern California
WHEN: 2:00 p.m., Thursday, December 12
WHERE: McClymonds High School, 2607 Myrtle Street
WHAT: McClymonds Warriors vs. Pacifica Tritons in CIF Division 2-A Championship Game
WHEN: Noon, Saturday, December 14
WHERE: Cerritos College, 11110 Alondra Blvd, Norwalk, California