I can’t remember when I stood in the rain for a longer time. For three hours, I was on the sidelines at Citrus College taking it all in. It hadn’t rained for ten months but Saturday night at the CIF Mid-Valley Championship game it rained…and rained…and rained.
Usually it lets up. Saturday night it didn’t. It only seemed to pick up. I didn’t bring an umbrella-I just don’t think they’re cool- and I paid the price. When it rains you expect your shirt to get wet and maybe your hat. Well they were but so were my jeans. The wind was blowing the rain sideways and by halftime the back of my pants were so wet you could have wrung a glass of water out of them.
My shoes felt like I was walking in a permanent puddle. I had a jacket with a hood- still not sure if that’s cool- but it didn’t really help. My wallet in my back pocket was drenched. I draped it over the heater on Sunday and put the dollar bills in the microwave in an attempt to dry them off.
I had a cell phone – you know the cool old school flip phones- in my front pocket and it was soaked as well. Believe it or not it still works.
The running joke on the sidelines was “I don’t think the heavy stuff will come down for quite awhile.” “It’s clearing up,” I said to former Monrovia Coach Steve Garrison.
“Yeah, time to fire up the barbecue,” he quipped as the rain cascaded off his umbrella- yeah he had an umbrella so I guess it’s cool.
Fortunately for San Dimas and Monrovia, Citrus has field turf. There was no mud but plenty of water. There were puddles on the sidelines, puddles on the field and puddles in my shoes. At one point, the 40 yard line marker was careening down the track that runs around the field like a power boat.
As for the game there were plenty of gaffes. Fumbles, stumbles, bobbles and bumbles were the order of the evening as both teams had trouble getting a handle on the ball.
Passing was basically out of the question. San Dimas and Monrovia have had success on the ground all year so they were content to stay that way.
Monrovia beat San Dimas by nearly three touchdowns back in September but the weather was dry. There were 53 points scored in that game. In this game they might be lucky to get 53 yards.
The conditions were bad, and the ball was slippery so when the Saints’ drive stalled on their first possession it was a little surprising to see them line up for a 35 yard field goal. However Dillon Corona booted it through the uprights to give San Dimas a 3-0 lead. A field goal in the first quarter in any other game is no big deal. In this game it was huge.
Monrovia got the ball back and immediately moved down the field. The Wildcats lined up for a 37 yard field goal to try to tie it up. But the attempt missed. The rain was falling harder and San Dimas’ three points loomed larger.
Jordan Taylor got loose late in the first half for a 26 touchdown run to give the Saints a 10-0 lead. With the rain coming down in sheets ten points seemed like Mt. Everest to Monrovia.
The Cats never could catch up. Nick Bueno scored late in the game but Justin Winrow’s sack of Bueno in the end zone put the capper on a 12-7 San Dimas win.
While San Dimas players leapt for joy, Monrovia walked off the field under the weight of not only water logged uniforms but also the burden of a ninth consecutive CIF Finals loss.
I trudged off the field as well in puddle filled shoes and socks, a dripping hat and storm drenched pants. And all I kept thinking was that there was no place I would rather have been.
Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.