On Saturday November 19th, as the cold evening temperature began to drop further, falling to frigid degrees, the West Clovis Monsters ranked #1 in the CCYFL Juniors Division faced off against the #2 Miners, based out of the Fresno High/Edison High areas of Fresno.
With the clock dwindling down to less than 30 seconds on the clock, Chase Case, the eventual Game MVP would score the winning touchdown, giving the Monsters a 13-7 lead, and capping off an 11-0-1 complete season record.
According to Head Coach Steve Case, the stands were packed at Clovis North High School, the same site where two other championships were held earlier in the day.
“The atmosphere was, literally, the stands were absolutely packed at Clovis North. Even kids from high school said, ‘We’ve never seen the field with this many kids on there.’…Fans and parents and people backing us to get to that championship.”
Case described the stands as “rocking” the familiar sensation a coach or player receives when an atmosphere such as these championship games can have an actual effect on the game itself.
When asked about how it felt to win a championship, Case responded by saying that the feeling was “pretty amazing”.
“For a lot of our kids we’d been there for a long time kind of toiling in that area.” Case also states that the backing from Clovis West High School and Coach Brown at that program was very beneficial to his West Clovis Monsters team and this helped make the team feel supported throughout the season. “They obviously had a really great year too at Clovis West…It was kind of a nice connection for us.”
The West Clovis Monsters, playing in the Senior Division have an age range of 11-12 year olds, and there were 35 players on the team. They went 9-0-1 in the regular season, and having a bye in the first round of the playoff format, they went 2-0 to capture their first ever championship in the Seniors Division of the Cen-Cal Youth Football League.
Head Coach Steve Case of course doesn’t believe he could have become the winning Head Coach of a Championship team without the assistance of his staff of coaches. Coaches Marc Bradford, Guierllmo Altamirano, Troy Rogers, and Jose Robles all had a hand in creating the Monsters and sharing in the accomplishments of the team as a whole.
Of course, having the opportunity to coach players with such offensive weapons was a luxury when it came to the season, as according to Case, the Monsters were putting up close to 30 points a game.
“It’s ironic that we only scored 13 this game…Each week, a different kid would step up and put up two to three touchdowns a game…We had so many kids that could kind of score on you.”
Ultimately, getting the team together became the one challenge at the beginning of the year that would go on to help the team the most. “We had a lot of kids who ended up playing their first year together. You know maybe they played at other programs, but like I said, the Clovis West team had done a good job at saying, ‘Let’s get everybody back home, and let’s start playing together’”.
The West Clovis Monsters will remain 2022 Champions of the Senior League until next season when the nine other teams in the league will once again vie for the top spot.