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Huddle up: Elijah Zabludoff on high school football

October 07, 2013|By Elijah Zabludoff
  • St. John Bosco center Elijah Zabludoff
St. John Bosco center Elijah Zabludoff (Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles…)

There is a saying in football that goes something like: “the grind never stops.” Thinking about what is going to come in the next five weeks, that saying is meant for the Trinity League football season.

Without a doubt, the five Trinity League games we face every year as St. John Bosco High football players are the toughest, most physical games that a high school player could ever experience.

By the end of nonleague play, every team is relatively fine-tuned and ready to play their best football. Every single week against Trinity League competition is like the league championship game: intense preparation, studying, and diligent work. There is never a day, week, or game that can be taken off, because every team is coming to win -- and is capable of doing it.

All six teams in the league are fantastic, and every team has a chance to win it all. There is never a clear-cut best team in the Trinity League; the talent level is equal and players are playing for their lives.

We play host to Santa Margarita this week, while Santa Ana Mater Dei plays Servite at Angel Stadium and Orange Lutheran takes on JSerra.

The secret to being ready for the Trinity League is simple: preparation and recovery. Success doesn’t always depend on skill or raw talent. (It doesn’t hurt, though.) It mostly depends on how well you know your opponent and how recharged your batteries are to continue through the brutal five weeks.

There is no possible way of playing five weeks of Trinity League football and finishing with a 100% healthy team. Best case-scenario: players experience the most painful bumps and bruises of a
lifetime. League time is when athletic trainers get a boost in activity and ice, tape and heat pads are hot commodities.

Every play that I put my hand on the ground, I know that I am going to get hit harder than I ever have before, and maybe ever will again. I look up from my stance as the Braves' center and see a linebacker ready to take my head off. The best thing I can do is deliver the hit right back, and hey, maybe even put him on the ground.

The Trinity League is a non-stop fight that will weed out the weak-hearted. In a game, there is a never a second to relax. I don’t know why it’s such a great feeling to play in what I think is the roughest high school football league in the country.

There is something special about the constant grind and battle, and that’s what brings out the best in teams every Friday night for five weeks.

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Now we'll shift gears a little bit and talk not about the fight, but the fun.

With league games come things like homecoming -- the football game followed by the dance shortly thereafter. St. John Bosco's homecoming is Oct. 18, after we play Orange Lutheran.

For us big offensive linemen don't find it too hard to find a date because we are, as many girls say: “huge loveable teddy-bears.”

At the dance, the linemen and their days will arrive a the venue together looking dapper, as necks break to try and fathom what just walked in.

It has to be quite a sight to see 280-, 290-, and 300-pound men tearing up the dance floor.

The footwork is definitely there -- we practice footwork on the football field every day -- but the rhythm, not so much. Dancing in a hot room can create more sweat and soreness than an actual game.

Homecoming is a fun night, and will be especially fun this year with the great company of the
ever elegant offensive line and their wonderful dates.

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