On Thursday, September 22, Mesa’s biggest rivals, Westwood and Mountain View High Schools, went head-to-head in freshman football. Students from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community play on each team. Daniel Smith, Jr., a freshman at Westwood, and No. 75 on the freshman football team, played against Community members and Mountain View High School freshmen Jacob Robles, No. 43, and Isaiah Manuel, No. 79.
As the game kicked off, the Mountain View Toros were first to make a touchdown, leading 0-8 in the first quarter. Not long after, the Westwood Warriors also scored a touchdown, making the score 8-6 at the end of the first quarter. Throughout the entire second quarter, the two teams battled it out, but at halftime the score remained 8-6 in favor of Mountain View.
In the second half, the Toros picked up their momentum, completing two touchdowns in the third quarter to make the score 6-20. At the start of the fourth quarter, the Warriors pumped up their game to try to catch up. It worked; in the final five minutes of the game, the Warriors made two touchdowns, ending the game with a tie score of 20-20.
For all the Community boys, this was the first year playing high school football.
Jacob Robles is a linebacker on the Mountain View team; he is the son of Linda Robles and Maurice Enos. Robles hopes to continue to playing football with the Toros throughout his high school career.
“This is his first year playing football in high school, but he has played Pop Warner for three years in Mesa. We love him and support him,” said Linda Robles.
Robles’ teammate Isaiah Manuel is the offensive tackle. He is the son of Dillon and Ramona Manuel.
“This is my first year ever playing football,” said Isaiah Manuel. “I just wanted to get into it because I have older brothers who all played. I hope to continue playing through high school.”
Manuel’s family is proud of him and excited that he is a starting offensive tackle.
They are glad to see him participating in sports, explained Ramona Manuel.
“I would like to thank my family for their support, and especially to my grandma Janice Manuel for coming out to my games,” said Isaiah Manuel.
The Mountain View Toros’ freshman football team record is 1-2-1.
Westwood Warrior Daniel Smith, Jr. is the son of Daniel Smith, Sr. and Davina Dallas. He is no stranger to sports after participating in wrestling, flag football and cross-country at Carson Junior High. Smith was excited to play football at Westwood High School as the offensive tackle.
“It’s hard; it’s a lot of time and commitment, but I like it,” said Smith. “So far we won two games, and tied the game tonight.”
Smith is unsure whether he will participate in football next year; he will see when the time comes, he said. But he is interested in playing basketball and baseball this year at Westwood.
The Westwood High School freshman football team record is 2-2-1.
Mountain View Freshman Football Schedule
Wednesday, October 19 vs Mountain Pointe 6 p.m.
Thursday, October 27 vs Mesa High 6 p.m.
Westwood Freshman Football Schedule
Wednesday, October 19 vs Brophy 6 p.m.
Wednesday, October 26 at Mountain Pointe 6 p.m.