The Milpitas Trojans, the reigning CIF Division 4-A state champions, returned to the field tonight at Milpitas High School to defend their championship for the very first time, against The Dublin Gaels.
Milpitas Unified School District (MUSD) School Board Vice-President Chris Norwood stood beside the field, out in support of the students and Milpitas in general:
“Every night’s a big night in the City of Milpitas!” he smiled, before going on to explain why this night was special. “This is the first game of the state championship team…Milpitas has a long sports/football tradition. The head coach, Kelly King, played linebacker and quarterback for Milpitas.”
Norwood also made it a point to aim his attention downfield, toward where the live music was coming from: “We got an amazing band down there; we got over 100 members in the band.”
Raw, dense electricity filled the air. As the sun went down, the friday night lights came up. The stands crawled with people, many of whom were not yet seated, as the national anthem had yet to begin to play.
“Champ” Wrencher, who’s in his 20th year at Milpitas High as a Social Sciences teacher and Varsity Basketball coach, was also standing fieldside, near the gate, on supervision duty. Football isn’t Wrencher’s first love, but he’s long made it his first choice when tasked with supervising. “I know most of the kids. I have ‘em in class. I always pick football duty, so I can have a chance to watch the games.”
Mayor Rich Tran was also in attendance, greeting residents at the main gate as they walked in. “There’s a ton of hard work that these youngsters put in throughout the summer and the spring, and tonight is a stage for them to make us all proud,” Tran said later on, while purchasing some Trojans paraphernalia.
The Trojans’ signature blue and yellow uniforms turned crisper on the field as the sky above them grew darker. Soon the spectators were settled in their seats, ears bending forward at the sound of the players’ bodies crunching into one another.
The tension of the game wasn’t missed by Norwood: “When you’re the state champ, everybody comes in with their A-game, or thinking they have an A-game. You know, Milpitas wants to get out fast, get out early, and let everybody know that we’re not gonna miss a step.”
In the end, the Trojans took a narrow loss, trailing the Gaels by a single point, in a game that ended 22 to 21.