Drillers & Eagles both hoping to manage success with goals to repeat as CIF champs in 2017

Posted at 5:58 PM, Aug 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-10 23:52:47-04

You wouldn't think winning a Valley title would be an issue. You wouldn't think the return of Bakersfield's core group of playmakers and Bakersfield Christian's record setting quarterback could be a problem.

HIGHLIGHTS: BHS wins state record 37th section title
BCHS secures 1st CIF title since 2013

But for head coaches Paul Golla and Darren Carr, too much confidence can become an issue. "We talk about that: Be more afraid of success than failure," said Golla before entering his 13th season as head coach of the Drillers. "A lot of times you're successful and you think it just comes but it doesn't. It's hard work. It's sacrifice. It's doing all the little things right."

Players for both schools echo their coaches. "It's harder," said BHS senior Caden Ochoa on what practice is like after winning a valley title. "Way harder. When you think about waking up in the morning and you already got a ring on your finger you think 'Why am I doing this?"

Harder to practice until players can find the right motivation. For both teams it comes from the same place. Last season BCHS lost 31-7 to Campolindo in the D-4AA state championship game. "It's kind of weird to win a valley championship and then lose the last game of the season," said Carr before entering his 3rd season as head coach at BCHS. "It's not really fun."

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Carr's quarterback Braden Wingle, who last year set the Central Section record for passing yards in a single season, said, "Every practice that's (loss to Campolindo) all I could think about is losing that game."

For the Eagles, Wingle will look to lead BCHS to back to back titles in D-IV despite what some might consider a loss in senior leadership with Jeremiah Foster, Stephen Figures and Brock Holloway all graduating. But senior left tackle Calvin Yurosck said, "I think we're more talented than last year."

The trouble with success is that every team in the Valley is now gunning for these two schools.

After a year on the road the Drillers are finally set for a homecoming. For weeks they've practiced early mornings in the shadow of Griffith Field as the stadium continues to undergo renovations that should be completed for BHS' game vs. Ridgeview.

RELATED: See how renovations are coming along inside Griffith Field

Players already circling that game on the calendar. "8,000 people just watching us play football," said Ochoa. "That's going to be pretty cool and feel more like a college game at BC with everybody packed in."

A new field but players hoping for the same result. "We got a renovation but hopefully we keep the same traditions," said Golla. 

Both schools will host their season openers with BHS set to play Edison at Centennial while BCHS will play Garces in the 2nd annual Mission Bowl.


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