May 23, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Godinez Coach Aron Kaye said return of varsity football was ‘pretty special for our players’

Coach Aron Kaye encourages his players during Friday’s season opener. (Photo: Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone)

Godinez High School’s varsity football program returned Friday night, and although the Grizzlies lost to Magnolia 26-8 at Santa Ana Valley, there were some encouraging signs.

“It obviously didn’t go our way, but we played a game,” said Coach Aron Kaye, the original Godinez coach who has returned to lead the program.”

Godinez did not field a varsity program during the abbreviated spring season, so there is some catching up to do.

“After not playing last season, it was exciting just to be on the field again,” Kaye said. “To be able to play a game on a Friday night in front of a crowd with under the lights was pretty special for our players.

“It’s just great to be back. I’ve heard from so many alumni (and alumni parents) and we are all just excited to be home.  Grizzly Football has a special place in my heart and it’s just great to be back.”

Godinez High’s new athletic director Bill Synder said he was pleased with what he’s seen so far.

“We’re very excited,” he said before the game. “Three months ago, we didn’t have anything and the fact that we’re playing tonight is just really exciting just for our school just to be able to do something that our community can come out to and give these kids something to be positive about is a win, so even before the game starts, we feel we’ve already won.

“The school is excited just to go to events again and our last week, opening with volleyball and playing football. It’s not normal yet, but it’s getting to be the new normal and we’re excited.”

Snyder said there are about 34 football players on the varsity and 65 in the program.

Kaye said the defense stood out in Friday’s game.

“We thought our defense played well for the first time out, but we obviously have to eliminate the penalties and mistakes we made on offense and special teams,” he said. “Julian Guillen (linebacker/offensive tackle) and Ignacio Ramirez (safety, wide receiver) both played very well.”

Julio Guillen scored the Godinez touchdown on a 1-yard run.

Godinez hosts Santiago Friday at 7 p.m. at Santa Ana Valley. For more pre-game pictures from Friday, please click here.

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com