After an unstable preseason, Samo football will be competing against Inglewood to break the tie for first place in the Ocean League in the ninth game of its season.
Currently both teams hold flawless 3-0 league records. If Samo wins against the Sentinels, they will most likely be seeing the team in the playoffs as the second Ocean League representative. Statistically Inglewood will beat their final league opponent, Morningside, as their league record is 2-1. However, if Samo losses to Inglewood then the Vikings will be the second place team entering the playoffs, provided they secure a victory against 0-3 Hawthorne.
The desire to beat Inglewood originates not only from wanting to maintain Samo's perfect league record but also from the victory over Culver City. Last year, the Viking season came to a halt after loosing to Culver in the semifinal round, despite Culver City's loss to Samo during the league season. Because Culver City was the team to do this, the fact that they are now out of the way is reassuring. If Samo remains undefeated, then they may have the same task as last year, beating an Ocean League team again, in the playoffs. Additionally, placing first in league for a second year in a row will be an unparalleled, unarguable testament to Samo's transition into the Golden Era.
The Oct. 26 battle at Coleman Stadium between the Vikings and the Sentinels will ultimately be won simply by the team who wants to maintain their ongoing success more. If Samo emerges victorious, Inglewood will most likely be a close second, and a possible playoff opponent. Aside from this, the Vikings must take each week as it comes and this is especially crucial for a successful postseason.
(Click Title to Expand Content)
With victories against both Redondo Union and Palisades, Samo must now channel all of its focus on to its next and arguably most significant opponent yet: Mater Dei. Even though the Monarchs pose a significant threat to ruining the teams perfect 2-0 record, the Vikings are more prepared than ever to play. Against Redondo Union, the Vikings were able to test themselves for the first time, and it is after this that the team began to realize the potential they have to consistently win. Their second consecutive win against Palisades only confirmed this. Aside from the two wins, the progressive momentum of the team has translated over to practice, as the after school sessions now contain energy and focus that is tangible in the air. The team wants this victory more than any other.
This season, the Vikings have won both games with leads of 21 and 41 points, which will serve to prepare them for the rigorous challenge presented by Mater Dei. Under coach Travis Clark, Samo has not yet played against the team. Despite this, Clark hopes to make the Monarchs a concrete part of the Viking schedule, playing them yearly.
In addition to this, a victory against would solidify Samo's place on the map as a serious program. While last years season drew attention to Samo, it is the challenge of this season, and this game, to hold and maintain that attention.
The Santa Monica Vikings will play the Mater Dei Monarchs at their home field of Santa Ana Stadium on Sep. 13 at 7 P.M.
pass on Tuesday during practice.
(Daniel Archuleta firstname.lastname@example.org)
Samo's success and local dominance within the Ocean League last season sparked not only positive recognition but also high expectations among fans. In the face of this, the team rose to meet these expectations by scheduling five challenging teams to kick off the year. In the remaining five games of the regular season, Samo will be more prepared than ever to secure it's place as the leader of the Ocean League.
Additionally, Samo successfully scheduled matches with Redondo Union, Palisades, Mater Dei and Hart, demonstrating the team's determination to remain a serious and solid football program. Due to the recent buzz surrounding the Vikings, the games against the above schools will be monitored more closely than in previous years by Samo supporters and opponents alike.
With the start of a new school year, the Vikings are forced to adjust to the loss of their seniors. However, this is balanced out by the addition of new players and the renewed ability of returning veterans. Returning players include Nicholas Cardiel, Matthew Rus-Kosa, Sebastian LaRue, Ryan Chamberlin and William Taylor. Returning players on the line include Steve Becerra, Andres Meza, Peter Breceda, Wellington Vicioso, Tanner Skylar and Mathew Galvan.
Following tradition, the Vikings will scrimmage against South Torrance on August 24th prior to their season and home opener against Redondo Union on August 31st.
Samohi Football Recognized for Its Positive Contribution to Youth and Leadership in Santa Monica during PYFC’s 10-Year Anniversary Gala
Samohi’s football alumnus took center stage at the Pico Youth & Family Center’s (PYFC) 10-year anniversary Hope & Unity Awards Gala. Coach Travis Clark received the highly regarded Hope & Unity Award for his commitment to providing hope & opportunity to the youth of our city. Samohi alumnus and current CSUN student Mario Perez also received the award. Past awardees include respected community leaders from our Santa Monica City Council, educators, members of law enforcement and activists.
“Coach Travis Clark embodies what this award is all about. He is a son of our community who came back to Santa Monica High to support positive youth development. I know that coaching involves more than teaching how to win football games. It teaches youth to support our community and be resilient in the face of life’s challenges,” stated Oscar de la Torre, PYFC Founder and also a former co-captain of Samohi’s 1990 football team.
To a packed crowd of Samohi football coaches, parents, PYFC participants, elected and appointed officials and community leaders Coach Clark expressed his sincerest thanks to the PYFC for the recognition. “I am honored to receive this recognition. I was raised in Santa Monica’s Pico Neighborhood like Mr. de la Torre and it’s great that we can show that our football program has produced leaders for this community…”, stated Coach Clark.
Coach Travis Clark his coaching staff and parent volunteers are credited with bringing back Samohi football’s tradition of excellence on and off the field. The Samohi varsity football team won the coveted Ocean League Championship and reached the CIF semi-finals last season, a triumph not reached in more than a decade.
It was a tearful group of players who met with coach Travis Clark on the Culver City High football field after Culver had elinated the Vikings from the CIF playoffs in the third round. Losses hurt, but not as much as this loss meant. This loss meant that the journey was finally over for the many seniors who were on a three year quest to give the Samohi football community a "season to remember." Well, it certainly was. Samohi compiled an 11-2 record, including the first undefeated league season in a very long time. What made this team special was that the players did not play for themselves, they played for each other. Three year starters, first year players--It didn't matter. Everyone found their role, and performed it with passion and intensity.
To be successful, a football team must do five things: Run successfully, pass successfully, stop the opponents' running games, stop the opponents' passing games, and be successful with the kicking game. The Vikings did these quite well for most of the season. Kori Garcia, London Lewis, and Donovan Citrowski gave Samo a fordidable running game all season. They were ably backed up by Miguel Cardiel, Will Taylor, and Nick Cardiel. Christian Salem brought fans to their feet with great passes to Sebastian Larue, Anthony Hernandez, Michael Jordan, and Dylan Muscat. First-year linemen Pete Breceda, Andres Meza, Nick Becerra, and Matt Galvan afforded Salem great protection as they improved all year. All are juniors, except Galvan who is a sophomore, so expect next year's line to be a dominating bunch.
Craig Lowe and Matt Schultz were the seniors on the line, and they will be greatly missed. Schultz's story this season is typical of the unselfish attitude of this year's team. After 6-7 265 lb. Chad Wheeler went down with an injury, Schultz left the comfort of his tight end position to play left tackle. Opposing defensive ends were not happy with the decision, however, as Schultz led the Vikings in "pancake blocks." "If you can't stop the run, you can't win games"..That is an axiom that all football people know and agree with. Well, the Vikings could stop the run. Linebackers Chris Collins, London Lewis, Donovan Citrowski, and Nick Cardiel flew to the ball and tackled well all season. Meza, Lowe, Breceda, and Becerra made sure that offensive linemen were unable to get clean blocks on the Samo linebackers. Ballhawks Sebastian Larue, Matt Rusk-kosa, Dylan Muscat, and Will Taylor were always ready to come up on running plays and cover well on passes. Marquis Moss and Turhan Brown, both seniors, played well on defense when called upon. Kicking chores were admirably handled by Elliot Stahler, whose most shining moment came with a game-winning field goal against Culver City in an Ocean League game.
For those lucky enough to have watched the 2011 Vikings, it truly was a SEASON TO REMEMBER. The 2012 edition of Samohi football should be fun to watch. A great quarterback battle is shaping up, with the winner throwing to Sebastian Larue and a host of talented newcomers. Returners Will Taylor and Ryan Chamberlain are the early favorites for the running back duties. With most of the offensive line returning, there should be some big holes to run through. Defensively, starters Rusk-kosa, Larue, Taylor, Cardiel, and the experienced defensive line should form a solid nucleus for the Vike defense. With enough hard work, dedication, and passion, 2012 could be another season to remember.
After a 4-1 pre-season, the Vikings sit atop the Ocean League with a 4-0 league record. The Vikings close out their regular season with a game at Hawthorne in week ten. Good defense has been the strength of the Vikings all season. In the era of wide open offenses, when 30 or 40 passes per game is not uncommon, scores have predictably gone up.
The Samohi defense, however, has done its part to keep scoring down. After nine games, no opponent has scored more than two touchdowns against the Vikings. Led by linebackers Chris Collins, Kori Garcia, Donovan Citrowski, and London Lewis, the Viking defense has made running the ball an unpleasant experience for opposing offenses. The Samohi secondary is led by "lockdown corner" Dylan Muscat. Safeties Matt Rus-kosa and Sebastian LaRue have proven to be outstanding ball hawks when the ball is in the air.
Offensively, it has been a lot of hard running by Garcia, Lewis, and Citrowski, combined with timely passes and runs by quarterback Christian Salem. A stable of outstanding receivers, led by LaRue and Anthony Hernandez, have done a great job in keeping defenses off balance. Placekicking chores have been handled by Elliott Stahler, who is 4 for 4 in field goals for the season, the most recent being a 43 yard game winner against Culver City.
The Vikings have clinched a playoff spot and should get a home game if they beat Hawthorne in the season finale
Samohi head football coach, Travis Clark, told his team that it was too soon to end the season, and his players responded. Ventura High entered Corsair Stadium with a perfect 11-0 record, but had to settle for 11-1 as they began their return north after a thrilling 29-24 loss to the Samohi Vikings. Samohi overcame a rocky start (lost fumble and an interception on their first two series) to take a 20-10 lead at the half. Ventura closed the gap in the second half, but the Vikings rallied when they needed to and prevailed, much to the delight of their ecstatic fans. The Vikings earned a semi-final game against league rival Culver City, who they defeated 17-14 earlier this season. The game will be held Friday, December 2, at Culver City High.
Christian Salem (8 for 17, 191 yards) had his second straight three touchdown game, as he completed passes to Anthony Hernandez, Dylan Muscat, Sebastian LaRue and Matt Rusk-Kosa. Kori Garcia added 140 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries, and Elliot Stahler added his sixth field goal to complete the scoring for Samohi. The Samohi offensive line of Matt Schultz, Craig Lowe, Steve Becerra, Andres Meza, and sophomore Matt Galvan did a great job of protecting Salem against the vaunted Ventura pass rush. Defensively, Samohi responded on numerous fourth and short situations, some in the red zone, to deny the potent Ventura offense. Defensive ends Nick Cardiel and Chris Collins and linebackers London Lewis, Kori Garcia and Donovan Citrowski continue to make great defensive stops, and defensive backs Dylan Muscat, Will Taylor, Matt Rusk-Kosa and Sebastian LaRue blanketed the Ventura receivers, with Rusk-Kosa getting a key interception, his sixth of the season. On special teams, punter Donovan Citrowski (who is also the fullback and middle linebacker) boomed a 55 yarder to pin Ventura deep in their own territory in the waning minutes.
For the first time in a decade, the Samohi Vikings are Ocean League champs. Santa Monica High School's football team secured the title with a give-and-take 17-14 win over rival Culver City Friday on the road.
When Samohi quarterback Christian Salem ran out the clock the entire Viking sideline erupted into a celebration that had players shedding tears, giving high-fives and reflecting on the journey to this joyous moment.
"I've never felt this way before," senior running back Kori Garcia said amid the post-game celebration. "We've been working toward this for three years."
Three Samohi defensive players were honored by the Los Angeles Times in their annual pre-season player preview. Highly recruited defensive end, Chad Wheeler, was honored as one of the premier defensive linemen in Southern California. Joining Wheeler were linebacker, Chris Collins, and defensive back, Dylan Muscat. Collins has been the most dominant player in early season practices, according to coaches. Muscat, a two-time All Ocean League defensive back, combines great speed with an uncanny nose for the football. Congratulations to these Vikings for their hard work and accomplishments.
(Gallery Soon To Come)
120 Samohi football players greeted the coaching staff on Monday, July 11 for the first day of summer practice. The Varsity and Junior Varsity squads practiced together, and the Freshman team had its own separate practice. Hopes are high for the Vikings this season as a Senior-laden squad will try to earn their way into Viking lore and join some of the great teams of the past. The future is now, however, as many of the players have played successfully on the Varsity team for two or three years. Practice was up-tempo and spirited, as the players worked with an experienced coaching staff that constantly stressed proper technique and footwork. With full pad practices just a month away, this learning period is crucial so that all players are on the same page. Let's go Vikings!!
A festive atmosphere surrounded the Samohi Vikings Football Team on June 4th. as family, friends, and former players were on hand to watch next year's Vikings play a hard-fought intrasquad game on the Samohi practice field. First it was the interior linemen's turn to compete, as they vied in a tire-pull relay and pass blocking competition. Then the quarterbacks competed in a passing accuracy contest. The crowd-pleaser happened when sophomore to be, Morgan Moore, threw a thirty yard pass directly into the small trash can, which was the target The final activity was the 7 on 7 passing competition.
After the dust had settled, it was the Gold Team that held a slight edge. Among those scoring touchdowns were Anthony Hernandez, Jesse Vasquez, and De Vaughn Townes. A surprise visitor to the game was former All-Pro running back from the Denver Broncos, Glen Milburn. Mr. Milburn was a great student and a great athlete at Samohi, and he spoke briefly to the players before the game about some of the values he has learned in football and in the "game of life."
They come from all over the nation, and they come in droves. The word is out that the Samohi Vikings have many players with the ability to play football at the next level. PAC 12, Ivy League, and all levels in between have been calling on Coach Clark for information on the Viking Seniors who have the ability and the desire to play college football.
Chad Wheeler is the name on every college recruiter's lips. Chad is a 6-7, 260 pound dynamo who is a prize recruit Linebackers Chris Collins and Donovan Citrowski are fast, hard-hitting players who have enjoyed success the past two seasons. Three running backs are also attracting attention. Kori Garcia, Miguel Cardiel and London Lewis are fast, tough backs who are working hard in the off-season to improve their chances of playing at the next level. Garcia and Lewis are also being recruited as defensive backs. Two time All Ocean League cornerback, Dylan Muscat, has the quickness and agility to play in college. His grades and citizenship have attracted the recruiters from the United States Military Academy at West Point(Army). The two "sleepers" in this fine group of Seniors are Christian Salem and Matt Schultz. Injuries derailed both players last season, but Salem, a big, strong, fast quarterback, and Schultz, a 6-2, 235 pound tight end should have great senior seasons and open a lot of eyes.Lots of experienced, quality Seniors, joined by a group of outstanding Juniors have created a "buzz" around campus. They can't wait for September.
That fabulous aroma you might have smelled on Saturday, May 7 was coming from the outside basketball courts at Samohi. A "meet and greet" barbeque was held to enable the football coaches to meet the parents of the players and vice versa. Thanks to all the other parents who helped make this event a success. Head coach Travis Clark spoke briefly and introduced the assistant coaches, who then mingled with the parents and athletes. Some incoming Freshmen and their parents were also on hand and seemed ready to join the Samohi Football Family. Check out the pics from the event.