Shockers lose on the road to Oroville, 52-12

By James Robinson
Empire Press Correspondent

The Waterville/Mansfield Shockers football team lost at Oroville, 52-12, on Oct. 28.

It has been a long, hard-fought season with the Shockers winning only one game against the Bridgeport Mustangs the third week of the season.

Assistant coach Kieth Finkbeiner said that at half-time the score was already 52-0. Waterville’s two touchdowns came in the second half. Sophomore Jacob Stibal threw two touchdown passes, one to Thomas Moser and one to Mauricio Negrete.

Athletic Director Tayn Kendrick praised the football team members for their dedication not only to the game, but to the team and to their coaches. Kendrick said that this is the first time in five years that the Shockers played 11-man football. The past four years the Shockers played 8-man and while it is the same game, it is played a bit differently.

“Though this is a losing season, there are a lot of bright spots,” said Kendrick. “The boys have come a long way in learning the skills necessary for the game and in learning the game itself. And, this is a great testimony of the strong character of each student. They worked hard every practice and played with a positive attitude the entire game, each and every game.”

Kendrick also said of junior quarterback Stibal, “An amazing athlete, and his first season playing football. He is a good student of the game.”

“Braylen Bromiley, a 5-foot-6 sophomore at 130 pounds, is a great runner who this past week had an interception and almost broke it open to score a touchdown. Bromiley will be a major runner for the Shockers next season. And, Mauricio Negrete, a 5-foot-4 freshman, who caught one of the touchdowns Friday, has great savvy and runs great routes,” added Kendrick. “Two athletes that have come a long way and truly showed improvement week after week were juniors Miles Mittelstaedt and Devyn Klinginsmith.”

When asked about the coaching staff, Kendrick said the three coaches are great. Assistant coaches Dell Mires and Kieth Finkbeiner relate well with the student athletes.

And head coach Mike Gray “knows his football better than anyone I have ever worked with. The trio of coaches is a perfect blend that will help the Shockers to tally more wins in the coming seasons,” Kendrick said. “I truly thank our coaches for their coaching skills and their time devoted to the students.”

“Colin Poppie, Thomas Moser and Cody Deshazer played varsity while in the eighth grade for there was no junior high football program. These sophomores are solid players who show great promise for their next two years of high school,” said Kendrick.

Kendrick also reflected about the student athletes spending quality time working on the weights. It is hard work but it does pay off year-after-year. The Shockers have some very dedicated sophomores and juniors who are putting in the time to strengthen their bodies for all the sports they are in: football, track, baseball and basketball.

Commenting on this year’s referees Kendrick said, “They were good refs who often commented on our student athletes saying that our kids are respectful and were not complaining about calls.”

The Shockers’ final contest of the season is at 7 p.m. Nov. 4 at Bridgeport.