The Rivalry Between Two Schools at Once


Photo credit: Julianna Martinez

Julianna Martinez, OwlFeed Sports Reporter

As football season comes up, the rivalry between the two schools are revealed, putting a lot of pressure on the Agua Fria football team, with hopes of defeating Tolleson on Thursday, September 1st, to keep The River Rock.

In the first game of the season, the Agua Fria Owls put up a good fight to beat the Tolleson Wolverines. For me, the experience of just being in the stands was nerve wracking; watching the players jump for the ball and push through was quite hard to witness. 

When captain Ruben Garcia was on the field, I watched as he tried hard to jump for the ball, but sadly missed. However, the student section continued to cheer him on loudly and proudly from the stands.

With the Owls down by 16, they scored a touchdown with only a minute left on the clock, leaving it at 15-26!

Sadly, the Agua Fria Football team lost to the Wolverines, leaving the rock in Tolleson. Hopefully, the Owls will defeat them next year as they get a chance to play them again.

I got the pleasure to speak with Coach Higuera about what was going on in his mind during the game, with the team fighting for the win.

“I believe we played well for 48 minutes. My favorite thing was that you could see the unity last night; Everyone was supporting one another, everybody was engaged in the game no matter what the score was. We were 7-0, heads were still held high; when they went 13-7, heads were still held high. When they went up 19-7, they were still proud of one another and were fortunate enough to get us at 19-9, and we were still engaged” said Coach Higuera.

Coach Higuera had an amazing thing to say about his players. He said, “Most importantly, I really do love seeing these kids have one another’s back when it matters most because ultimately we’re playing with each other and for each other, so that’s the most beautiful thing that we can all see right now”.

I also got the opportunity to speak to captain Ruben Garcia on how he felt being on the field against Tolleson. 

“A lot of energy; We were really excited, honestly, for the whole thing. This wasn’t a regular game, this was against Tolleson, it was also history in the making. It being my senior year along with a few of my teammates, we really wanted to defend the rock as well. Considering that our coaches over at Tolleson also coached here last year, it was also an even bigger rivalry. This game had a lot of meaning to it, but at the same time it is something that we have to look past, and we just have to keep moving forward” Ruben Garcia said.

When I asked Coach Higuera his thoughts on the loss against Tolleson High, he said with a defeated look, “Obviously it’s a very difficult loss, those bus rides home after a loss tells you a lot. I say that because you know that bus ride home from 99th ave to Dysart felt like it was an hour long drive. It felt like we were driving from Avondale up to Tucson. Those mean a lot when the kids take it and you know they dissect every single situation. They think of every second on the way home; ‘What could we do to get better’, and you feel it in the locker room as well”.

Another meaningful thing Coach Higuera said about his players is “We’re super proud of them. We’re proud of the way they compete, we’re proud of the way they held one another accountable, and most importantly they did it the right way: the respectful way and a loving way. That’s the biggest thing to tell one another is that we love them. We love you guys for being here and we love you guys for doing the hard work”.

I got an opportunity to speak with one of the players, Esteban Rodriguez, on his thoughts while being on the field and his feelings towards the loss of this game. 

“I feel like overall we needed this. Our head Coach has taught us all this time to control our emotions and to keep calm throughout everything whether we do a huge play, or whether we mess up a play, a bad play, a regular play, it doesn’t matter. We keep that same motion going. We keep the same feeling going and we just keep on striving. It shows as a team who we truly are. None of us really gave up on anybody, we all continued to encourage each other after every play and we just went from there” Esteban said.

So when is their next game you may ask? Well we have one soon, September 23 at home against Flowing Wells! There is also one on Friday, September 30th and it’s a home game against West Point! See you there.