High school football fans in the city of San Gabriel have not had much to cheer about in years. This week, however, they were basking in the glow of not one but two milestones.
Last Friday, Brady Andrews passed for two touchdowns, ran for another and returned an interception for a score as San Gabriel High defeated Temple City, 34-7. It was the Matadors' first victory over the Rams since 1969.
That same night, four-year-old Gabrielino High won its first game as a full-varsity program, defeating Bonita, 26-7.
San Gabriel Coach Gary Orona, in his second season with the Matadors, was unaware of the historical significance of his team's victory until the crowd began celebrating as if it had won a Southern Section title.
"Everyone was jumping up and down and the administrators were giving me high-fives and hugs," Orona said. "I was saying to myself, 'What's going on?' We try to do this every week.' "
San Gabriel, which endured losing streaks of 23 and 35 games in the last 20 years, has not made the playoffs since 1988. The Matadors are 1-1 going into Friday night's game against Mountain View.
Gabrielino was 0-9 last season, but Coach Vince Lopez has his first group of seniors, including tailback Jason Coble and linebacker Abe Rodriguez.
The Eagles are competing in the Division X Camino Real League in football this season, but will move to the Division VI Mission Valley League in 1998-99. Gabrielino is 1-1 going into tonight's game against El Monte at Rosemead High.
"The victory over Bonita was a very large deal," Athletic Director Scott Brummett said. "People are walking a little straighter around here. There's a lot of campus pride."
Sixteen of the nation's best teams, including seven from Southern California, will compete in the Durango girls' volleyball tournament Friday and Saturday in Las Vegas.
The tournament field includes Mira Costa, Mater Dei, Newport Harbor, Westlake, Laguna Beach, Cypress and Bakersfield Centennial. Teams from Florida, Oregon and Nevada will also be present, as will be Stockton St. Mary's and Mountain View St. Francis, a pair of powerhouses from Northern California.