Lucas Rapeepat | Head Editor
September 17, 2021
Last Friday, September 10, the Triton football team was defeated in a gritty, defensive showdown against Corona del Mar, taking their first loss of the season. Despite the unfavorable result, San Clemente’s student section continued to demonstrate unparalleled school spirit, earning the distinction of Orange County’s Section of the Week.
Friday also marked the annual First Responders and Military Appreciation Night, an especially significant event following the recent tragedies in Afghanistan. The Tritons provided a total of almost 300 free meals to all military, law enforcement, and other front-line workers (including their families) before the game started. In addition, 13 students with active military family members bore American flags during the national anthem to commemorate the 13 soldiers killed at the airport in Kabul. The Orange County Police Department provided a helicopter flyover to cap it off.
This special night energized the SCHS crowd to frenetic levels, as hundreds of students shouted their hearts out for the home team. “I left with my ears bleeding,” senior Kevin Peña said. “If one person started screaming, then everyone started screaming. And it never ended.”
On the field, the Tritons struggled, as the Sea Kings scored on their opening drive due to a 31-yard pass, one of few offensive gains of the night. On the next drive, San Clemente’s potential response in a field goal kick was blocked.
Yet the team was spurred on by a devoted audience, spearheaded by Loud Crowd. “I feel like the energy, enthusiasm, and participation of our student section was unparalleled,” senior Zane Pert, one of the leaders of Loud Crowd, said. “Between the giveaway items and the involvement of our student body, Loud Crowd was able to come together as a community to support our team and create a truly special environment at the Abyss.
The rest of the half was relatively quiet, with a tipped pass almost culminating in a pick-six for the Tritons, marking the only highlight. Throughout the halftime break, the student section remained on their feet and cheering due to the efforts of the Loud Crowd leaders.
The Tritons entered the third quarter with renewed vigor, forcing a fumble on the opening drive of the half and recovering the ball deep in Sea King territory. Appearing to tie the game on a 3-yard touchdown pass, the play was called back due to a holding penalty. SC resorted to a field goal that would earn their first and last points of the game.
The rest of the game was fairly uneventful, with both teams attempting to break through each other’s defenses and failing. Unfortunately, the Tritons fell short, unable to muster an offensive miracle to keep their undefeated record alive, bringing them to 3-1 on the season.
“It sucks that we lost, but the crowd vibes were off the charts,” senior Nathan Langer said. “Hopefully we can get a win next time.” The upper-tier competition continues this Friday as San Clemente travels to Huntington Beach to take on Edison High School.