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Huddle up: Elijah Zabludoff on high school football

October 28, 2013|By Elijah Zabludoff
  • St. John Bosco center Elijah Zabludoff
St. John Bosco center Elijah Zabludoff (Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles…)

Editor’s note: Elijah Zabludoff is a senior football player from St. John Bosco High and an aspiring journalist. Each week during the high school football season, he will be blogging about his personal experiences and also his thoughts about prep sports in general. Zabludoff is a returning starter at center for the Braves, who are ranked No. 1 in the Southland by the Los Angeles Times.

I had never been so nervous in my life. My St. John Bosco Braves were playing Santa Ana Mater Dei, and as I walked onto the field of the Santa Ana Bowl, I looked up and viewed the largest crowd I had ever seen. We had the ball first and I remember feeling absolutely star struck.

On Friday, the Braves again take on the Monarchs of Mater Dei, and as every high school football fan knows, this is the game to attend. The Braves are trying to make it three wins in a row against Mater Dei, and the Monarchs are looking to avenge last year's close loss.

For the last three weeks in Trinity League play, all we’ve been hearing about from outside the program is about this Week 4 matchup: How packed the stands at this game are going to be, how intense the players will be, and how important this game is on a national scale.

Well, finally, we all get to feel the hype. We were all kneeling as a team after the JSerra victory this last week, and one of our players announced the outcome of the Mater Dei vs. Santa Margarita game.

Santa Margarita won, and the team was definitely surprised, but we know we’re getting the Monarchs' best no matter what. I can feel the intensity already.

All weekend long, new film and reports have been posted for us to watch. I have spent hours watching it and studying every wrinkle of the Mater Dei defense. Film gets boring quickly, but not this week. This week the film gets more and more exciting. There are hours of film, but it seems as if there isn’t enough.

I can’t wait to look at the personnel page in my scouting report to see what I’m going up against. There’s a special feeling that comes with Mater Dei week. It’s not just 110% effort anymore, its 10,000%. Practices are faster and coaches even louder.

The entire school gets into it. There is a student section meeting every day at lunch, planning new cheers and chants for the game. Shirts and paint for signs are sold all week. School spirit is always at an all-time high during Mater Dei week.

Friday, the band will roam the halls playing our fight song as the leaders of “The Tribe” run around banging on doors and yelling “GO BRAVES!”

Sometimes we tape the Monarchs' three white lines on the helmets of the scout team just to get us in game mode during practice.

The entire team knows this week needs to be perfect. Every drill, repetition and practice needs to be flawless. The only thing on our mind this week is this game. The focus is there and Friday cannot come quick enough.

It’s going to be loud, crazy and physical. I'm a senior, and it’s going to be fun to lineup against Mater Dei for one last time.

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