Eagles lose 7-42 on homecoming night


Nicole Chen

Runningback Will Park (12) runs the ball during a play. The eagles lost homecoming 7-42.

by Nicole Chen and Anjay Saklecha

Varsity football lost their homecoming and senior night game 7-42 to Stellar Preparatory High School yesterday night.

To start off the night, the school honored all the seniors on the varsity football team, including  Saketh Gurram, Danny Reidenbach, Will Park, Davis Howard, Kailee Gifford, Anthony Crook, Rishabh Nijhawan and Norman Garcia. The homecoming game marks the last game of the football season for the seniors and the rest of the team this year.

Two captains from each respective team gathered in the middle of the field to begin the coin toss. While Stellar Preparatory won the toss, they chose to kick instead of receive.

Within the first six minutes of the first quarter, Will Park secured a touchdown for the Eagles, scoring them six points. Kicker Kailee Gifford was able to boost the score to 7-0.

“In the first quarter [and] the first half, our defense was pretty good,” Davis said. “We didn’t let them score that much, [and] we did what we practiced.”

The Stellar Preparatory Thunder scored a touchdown by the end of the first quarter and decided to take a two-point-conversion instead of kicking the ball into the goalpost, taking an 8-7 lead. The Thunder went on to score another six points in the second quarter.

“It didn’t go as we expected, but we tried the best we could do in the first and second quarters,” Nemo Yang (10) said. “We need to eat more and drink more milk because their linemen [were] really big.”

In the third quarter, the Thunder scored another 28 points while the Eagles scored zero. The score remained 7-42 throughout the fourth quarter with neither team scoring.


As the football season begins to close for this year, Head Coach Mike Tirabassi hopes that the Eagles will make the playoffs to extend their season by two more weeks.  

“Hopefully we are not done for this year, we find out tomorrow if we have a playoff game, then we can have two more weeks. But overall, they need to keep doing what they are doing,” he said. “They worked so hard off-season and we got a lot stronger over the years. Plus, we are fairly young than most teams. For next year, we just need to work in the weight room and get big, and strong and fast.”

The freshman and sophomore classes engaged in a competition of tug-of-war to determine third and fourth place preceding the start of the game, with the sophomores taking third place overall. During halftime, the juniors beat the seniors in another game of tug-of-war, putting the juniors and seniors in first and second place, respectively.

The cheerleading team supported the Eagles throughout the game, including performing a routine at halftime as well as prior to the start of the game with the junior eagles.

“I’m pretty sad we lost to Stellar Prep especially because it’s senior night and a lot of the seniors’ last game,” cheerleader Kelly Shen (10) said. “I thought our routine went pretty good, there were a few mishaps, but we really enjoyed performing. It was our last performance together for the football season, so it was a really nice close to our season.”

The Varsity Dance Troupe also performed a routine during halftime before the Homecoming court made an appearance. Senior class dean Jeffrey Draper crowned seniors Ryan Vaughan and Kailee Gifford as Homecoming king and queen.

Led by jazz band conductor Chris Florio, the jazz band performed their repertoire throughout the game as well.

The bleachers were packed for the entirety of the game with parents, students in the Flight Zone and Harker families cheering for the Eagles. Students wore black paint on their face to show their spirit and support for the team.  

“Harker does a good job in getting a huge crowd to non-stop cheer for the team. The [halftime activities] like the cheerleaders and the tug-of-war don’t make it boring,” Puneet Nayyar (10) said. “If they had enough manpower and every football game was like this, I’m sure there would be such a large crowd for every game.”

Varsity football will face Moreau Catholic High School next Friday in the first round of the NCS playoffs. Specific time and location are to be determined.