Milken varsity football victorious in debut

Jake Davidson


The team plans its next move. Photo by Gordon Myers.

After losing 13 seniors from the inaugural squad, the Milken Varsity Football team did not know what to expect as they headed to Indio to face off against West Shores in the season opener. Following its hard fought victory of 38-14, the team’s expectations are sky high as they proved on the gridiron that their explosive offense and stingy defense are the real deal.

The biggest question coming into the season was whether or not anyone could fill the shoes of All CIF quarterback Charlie Heller’12 who is now playing at Indiana University. Right away, recently converted quarterback Jason Welsh’ 13 answered that with an emphatic yes. Proving to be an efficient game manager, Welsh submitted a workmanlike performance. Giving the offense a new look as a dual threat, quarterback Welsh completed over 50% of his passes for almost 100 yards and a touchdown, while accounting for 50 more yards on the ground.

Welsh was aided by returning starters Mitchell Mayer ’13 and All CIF standout Gabe Freeman’ 13. Mayer ran for a touchdown and wore down the West Shores defense with his punishing running style. Freeman was hampered by injuries, but he still displayed flashes of brilliance. Only touching the ball a few times, the wideout caught a 40 yard touchdown and sprung free for a 65 yard reverse.

The offense was further aided by speed demon Jonah Lavin ’13 who just recently joined the team. Combining elusive moves with a compact running style, Lavin scored two touchdowns in his Wildcats debut. The newest addition to the backfield will further bolster the high-octane offense first year head coach Greg Weiss is employing.

On the defensive side of the ball, returning defensive lineman Jonah Resnick’ 13 led an aggressive, unrelenting attack that stymied the West Shores offense. The Girocco brothers, both defensive stalwarts, have added much needed toughness to the linebacker unit. Harris, a senior, lead the team with nine tackles and ensured that the West Shores players would remember him the next day. Slater, a sophomore, showed a knack for a forceful style, instilling fear into the minds of the skill position players. While he tallied three personal fouls, he showed glimpses of future potential to anchor the defensive crew.

Overall, Milken’s first game under Coach Weiss was a major success. The improved team looks to make a playoff run this year and will face Lighthouse Christian Academy on Thursday September 13th at Birmingham High School.

Featured image courtesy of Milken Football