Last night, the Santa Barbara High football team was trying to win its first championship in school history in 30 years.
In addition, the Golden Tornado would have also become the second Santa Barbara High athletic program to win a CIF title in fall. Back on Nov. 17, the Dons’ boys water polo team won the CIF-SS Div. 3 title after beating Schurr High 9-7.
Unfortunately, the Golden Tornado came up short with a last-second interception sealing their fate in a three-point loss.
“It was an extremely well-fought battle between two phenomenal football programs. I couldn’t be more proud of our boys,” Santa Barbara Athletic Director Joe Chenoweth said.
Still, even without a CIF title, the football team still did something unique for Santa Barbara High by simply making a championship run in the same fall campaign as the boys’ water polo team, something that Chenoweth noted.
“As an athletic director (for Santa Barbara) and having a beginning of a school year with such tremendous success, both for our boys’ water polo program doing extremely well to having our boys football team getting all the way to the finals. It’s been phenomenal,” Chenoweth said.
Chenoweth said he hopes the success carries throughout the winter and spring sports.
Additionally, being that it was the Golden Tornado’s first appearance in the CIF title game in 30 years, there were plenty of alumni from the 1989 championship team that were in attendance.
One of those in standing on the sidelines of Warkentin Stadium was 1989 left tackle Daniel Molina.
The 1989 CIF title game was played at Santa Barbara City College’s La Playa Stadium, but even with a smaller venue, Molina said he was happy with the crowd showing up and cheering on the team.
Despite the tough end to the season, Molina said this years’ rendition of the Golden Tornado shared some similarities with the 1989 team.
“Our team was able to run it past teams just like this ball club. These guys are actually a really good ball club, they just ran out of chances and it’s a bummer to see,” Molina said.
As the players were walking off the field, Molina noted that he was happy to see them upset by the outcome saying, “that’s how you should be because next year it is time to take it.”
“They know what they have to do. They are such a young team that knows now how to win. Now they have to pull it off.”