In the second round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs at Santa Clarita Christian on Thursday, Nov. 14, the Lady Broncos — again without their redoubtable and inspirational head coach Pam Kenyon, who is battling cancer — were all but down for the count.
Coast Union was in an 0-2 abyss going into the third game of the match, the home crowd was loud, and their season seemed to be all but over. But, as Coast Union teacher and ASI leader Darcy Dobrec explained, “They fought back so hard they won the next two and refused to give up the last game,” which ended with the Santa Clarita Cardinals edging Coast, 15-17 in a tie-breaker.
Junior varsity coach Casey Page — handling the coaching duties in the absence of Kenyon — was interviewed several days after game. Once the team was down 0-2 in a gymnasium packed with earsplitting cheers from Cardinal supporters, the Lady Broncos had a choice, Page recalled.
“We could hang our heads and give in, or we could keep fighting and even fight harder.” Clearly the decision was to fight “even harder,” Page explained. “We weren’t playing bad at all. In fact, we were close,” she continued. (Coast lost the first two games 18-25 and 25-27.)
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The Cardinals meanwhile were playing “fantastically,” Page offered. “So our girls just clicked into a zone, were extremely focused, and gave it everything we absolutely had.”
Page asked the team in a time out if they wanted to hang heads and get down on themselves, and they responded with, “‘No, we’re not getting down on ourselves, we’re going to be even more excited to get to five games,’ so we did.”
In game three the Lady Broncos came out on fire, winning 25-19. The energy and momentum carried over to game four, which was won by Coast, 25-17, forcing a tie-breaking game five, which they lost, 15-17.
In a tribute to coach Kenyon, Dobrec recounted that the Lady Broncos “did more tonight than winning ever could. Pam Kenyon, you should be so proud of the girls who are a direct reflection of their coach.”