South Pasadena High Athletic Director Greg Luna was both in an administrative and parental role as he watched the Tigers’ 59-6 drubbing on the road to El Monte last Friday night.
Football losses don’t get much worse as it was 52-0 before the Tigers put their only points on the board.
“That’s a very good question,” said Luna after being asked how South Pasadena players respond following a difficult loss?
“That’s on us – the adults,” he said, “to help the kids process defeat as well as victories.”
Not only is Luna the Tigers’ AD, but the father of South Pasadena High quarterback Samuel Luna-Long, who left the game in the third quarter after being roughed up with what school trainers called a mild concussion, forcing the junior to sit out this week’s action against Eastside of Lancaster at home.
“The reason we’re here is to teach lessons of life through sports,” following the one-sided defeat to the Lions on the road. “There are ups and downs. We coach what we have and as well as we can. The best thing we can do is to reassure the kids that life has bumps and bruises and you have to pick yourself up.”
Despite numerous injuries and facing a far superior team, Tiger players battled to the end and never quit. Banged up, South Pasadena could be without as many as eight injured players for Friday’s home game against Eastside of Lancaster.
“Sometimes in sports we play one game at a time,” explained Luna after the drubbing. “Sometimes it a half at a time. Sometimes it’s a quarter of a time. When you’re losing like that, the key against El Monte was one play at a time. ‘Let’s just win the next play.’ If we don’t win the next play, then get up and try to win the next one.”
As a parent and administrator, that’s the lesson Luna would have wanted to leave with the players following the loss.
“They were playing kids who were bigger and better than our better athletes,” he explained. “If you look at their raw skill, El Monte wasn’t much better than our football skill. They were just bigger and faster than we were. Football wise we were evenly matched.”