“You’ve got to be very careful, if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there”


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Brawley Union High head football coach Jon Self (left) talks with quarterback A.J. Grijalva during a game Friday in Yuma. Photo by: Lloyd Miller
Brawley Union High head football coach Jon Self (right) talks with quarterback A.J. Grijalva during a game Friday in Yuma. Photo by: Lloyd Miller

Seems last week I missed something that was right there in front of me.

Then, I had stated the last time the Wildcats kicked a successful field goal and won, dated back to November of 2007. Then the expertise of my writing peer and friend, Gus Garcia, reminded of the kick made in last year’s Bell Game by the Wildcats in a 25-21 win.

That goes to show that Yogi Berra was correct when he said, “If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.”

That being said, “It was déjà vu all over again,” when the Wildcats lost to Cibola last week and dropped their record to 1-3. The tough loss by Brawley dampened the excitement of the week before with “The Kick.”

The Wildcats had another running back with big numbers when George Mickle rushed for 100 yards on seven carries. A long 81-yard touchdown run on the third play from scrimmage finally gave glimpse of breakaway capabilities on offense.

Cibola keyed in on Nathan Suits who had 59 yards on 15 carries. Although passing was almost nonexistent in game stats (1-for-6 for two yards) there were some big plays that could not be included in the totals. One was a non-call pass from Austyn Gutierrez to Kevin Kastner (should have/could have) been ruled pass interference.

Another was a big pass from A.J. Grijalva to Mickle that was nullified by an offsetting penalty, both teams were penalized on the play and it had to be replayed.

Defensively, the Wildcats had the best performances from Blake Zeleney, Alex Campbell, and Daniel Crankshaw. Crankshaw had a huge quarterback sack and a fumble recovery in this game. Another player who has been flying under the radar screen, but is making big plays on defense, is Joab Torres. Others on defense this week with good numbers were Alec Gastelo, Jacob Martinez, Nathan Montalvo and Nathan Suits.

With one more game before the Imperial Valley League Title quest begins, the Wildcats will be facing the Gila Ridge Hawks in Yuma on Friday. The Hawks have a 4-1 record. They are big, strong and physical, but speed could be their achilles heel. Their numbers aren’t as huge as the Cibola Raider’s totals. They have passed for 737 yards on the arm of Cameron Scudder (70-for-128) and have three interceptions. In rushing, the Hawks have 528 yards on 130 carries.

It will be interesting to see which team shows up for the Hawks. They have won big with scores of 40-14 and 32-12, lost big in a 43-0 loss. Against the Central Union High Spartans in El Centro, they were victorious 13-10 in a game that was raining penalty flags all night, and another close game winning of 13-6.

“You’ve got to be very careful, if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there,” is another famous quote from the late Yogi Berra. It has a lot of meaning and it can be instilled on this Wildcat football team.

Before the season, I made some predictions on how I believed the season could go for Brawley. I had the Wildcats at either a 3-2 record or 2-3. I just didn’t see them getting over the strength of Christian and Valley Center. The next three games were against teams who have lost against Brawley and one would finally get their “win.”

Cibola did that last week, and the Hawks are next in line. Anything Cibola does Gila Ridge can do better, will be the mentality at Hawk Stadium in Yuma this Friday. Expect a tough game for both teams but always remember this,

“It’s ain’t over, till it’s over”

and there are still six games on the schedule for the Wildcats. Altering one last quote by Yogi, (“Slump? I ain’t in no slump, I just ain’t hitting”) I would say

“Slump, we ain’t in no slump! We just ain’t winning!”



  1. It is simple to understand why Brawley is not what it once was, prima donna, chest pumping, blaming, and this is all during the game, i.e., LACK of discipline. As someone from the community who has seen this particular group of kids grow up playing together, they are all out of position and seem not to have an understanding of what their assignments are. Its not like the good ol days when Brawley were the only ones who “lifted weights.” That is a standard now amongst all programs. The days of the 5’6″ 150 pound D-line are over. I see plenty of 200+ pound kids on the sidelines. Those kids need to be devloped into football players not just tackling dummies. While “B-Town” stays in the stone age power football era, we will continue to lose games as football evolves into a more skilled speed get the ball to the sideline and up the field type of game. Power football is good when you can keep the other team on its heels. You can’t expect kids to come with the skills attached, they need to be taught how to develop into football players, but at the same time its hard when there is no football camps or speed skills training available in the Valley.

    • At Brawley’s level of play a running game is still sufficient for success. some sort of passing game could be helpful. Honestly, it’s looks like this particular group just don’t have what the previous 2 years has had. It’s not the coaching…..they are just getting outplayed. That aside, I see lot’s of talent on this team and things could, and probably change for the best. I still see them taking IVL and having a sluggers shot in CIF.

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