DELANO, Calif. — Everyone's heard the phrase, 'third time's a charm'. But for the Kennedy Thunderbirds, they don't seem to follow that expression very well. The second time around has been the trend for this Delano team all season long.
They got redemption first on Caruthers in the sectional semifinals a year after the Blue Raiders knocked the Thunderbirds out of the playoffs. They followed up that performance by avenging their lone loss on the 2018 season in their rematch against Shafter in the valley championship.
Now, they'll face an opponent they haven't seen before, but they'll face them in game they have played in before. Back in 2015, Kennedy lost 59-45 to San Juan Capistrano-Saddleback Valley Christian in the CIF Southern California regional playoff football game. They return to the regional on Saturday with hopes of righting one last wrong on their short history and earning a spot in the state championship game.
"Their bar has been set high and they chose to compete at a state level now, they've put in the work, so they have to understand the decision they made has really shortened the time they had to celebrate their valley win, so now they get back to work," Kennedy head coach Mario Millan said. "And I told them, 'hey, you've got plenty of time to celebrate when this is all over, but we've got a couple weeks left, hopefully."
If they beat Garfield, they'll earn a trip to the CIF SoCal Division 4-A State Final set for December 15th.