The lone high point in Friday night’s varsity football game almost didn’t happen, according to coach Kit Jory.
At the end of a tough Trans-Valley League home game against Modesto Christian, the Bruins were down 61-0 in the fourth quarter.
Coach Jory had a secret weapon he had kept under wraps. Not because of strategy, but by necessity.
Igor Ventreschi, a foreign exchange student from Brazil, had never played American football before, and isn’t even really “that big into soccer, although he plays,” Jory said.
On arriving in Riverbank, he was committed to coming out and trying to play football this year.
“We were eager to get him involved,” Jory said. “He’s been playing wide receiver, corner back ... and kicker. Unfortunately for us, last week during Homecoming, against Millennium, Igor was crowned as Homecoming King at the halftime ceremony. But he was unable to finish the game, due to severe dehydration.”
As a safety precaution, Jory decided to keep him out of the game this week, with the exception of kicking.
Jory said Ventreschi looked pretty consistent on field goals less than 40 yards during pre-game warmups.
“I knew if we were inside the 30 yard line and had a fourth down, we were going to try his leg,” Jory noted. “Unfortunately, because of MC’s relentless defense, high-powered offense and overall outstanding talent at every position, our offense only got into field goal territory at the end of the game.”
The Bruins maneuvered into that position as the offense showed some true grit and MC’s defense made a series of costly mistakes that brought about penalties, the coach said
“With just 18 seconds left in the game, I called for the field goal unit. Even through the Crusaders’ crowd’s chants of ‘Block that kick,’ Igor kept his concentration and kicking technique, focusing on his job,” Jory explained. “Igor’s leg was just as reliable as our Riverbank Bruin character that, no matter the score, we will never quit.”
The final score was 61-3 as time ran out.
“Yes,” Jory added, “Riverbank is back in the Trans-Valley League, arguably one of the toughest leagues in California. While we may be outmatched, we will never give up, ever.”
This week, the Bruins visit the Indians of Ripon High School on Friday for more TVL action. They won’t be back on the home field until Friday, Oct. 5, when Escalon comes to town.
Lady Bruin Volleyball
The girls saw varsity action in two matches last week, first in Hughson, where they finished on top of the Lady Huskies in an extended match, going to five sets.
On Monday, Sept. 10, they took the first two sets, 25-20 and 27-25, before falling 25-21 and 25-20 in the second two. The rubber set found Riverbank on top, 17-15. Regular sets finish at 25 points, but, like tennis, teams must win by two points. In the fifth set, the game is to 15 points, but also must be won by two points.
On Wednesday, the Lady Cougars of Escalon came to town, and left with a three-set sweep of Riverbank, 25-9, 25, 9 and 25-6.
Both were TVL matches.
The Lady Bruin golfers were busy last week, with three matches on their schedule. After playing in the Yellowjacket Invitational in Stockton last Monday and in Newman, against Orestimba High School last Wednesday, they returned to host Gustine at the Escalon Golf Course on Thursday, Sept. 13.
Results were not available at press time.
On Monday, Sept 17, they were to compete in the Valley Foothill League Mid-Year Tournament in Stockton, and host Ripon Christian on Sept. 20 at the Escalon course.