Too Many Ups And Downs: A Recap of the Braves’ 2021 Football Season

Should we remember the star players making outstanding plays? Or will the disappointing end dominate how we view the team that had Lompoc’s first losing record since 2009?


Lauren Gaspar

The Lompoc Braves, despite the losses, had a fun season! Coming back from Covid quarantine, the boys embraced every moment back on the field.

How should we look back at the Braves 2021 football season? Should we remember the star players making outstanding plays? Or will the disappointing end dominate how we view the team that had Lompoc’s first losing record since 2009?

After starting with three wins against Paso Robles, Righetti, and Cabrillo it looked like the Braves would have another successful season, like in previous years. The team’s leaders Sheldon Canley Jr. and Deville “Djoker” Dickerson dominated the field all season and were the deciding factors in the two major wins against Paso and Righetti. However, after a dominant win against Cabrillo, the following fate didn’t stay in favor of the Braves: a 47-48 loss against Arroyo Grande was the start of a losing streak that lasted five games. 

The team’s biggest weakness this season was definitely the defense’s inability to compete consistently, on a high level. Though there were set expectations for the defense to step up strongly, when the offense struggled, the defense was rarely able to compensate for it. Some stats to back this up include the Braves’ defense giving up an average of 42.4 points per game (during the losing streak) and more than 50 against Pacifica. 

In the 26-51 loss against Pacifica, the Braves were falling back from the first play on. It had already seemed like Lompoc’s season was over. With a total record of 3-5, winless in the league, the team would have the only option of improving heavily in the last two games of the season (enough to win) or bury any hopes of playoffs. And what was our outcome? Stepping up and showing spirit, with a total of 124 offensive points against Oxnard and Dos Pueblos! The offense, confidently led by Quarterback Cavin Ross, and the drastic improvement in defensive plays proved we deserved a spot in the playoffs. In the last game of the regular season, the starters didn’t give up a single point!

The exemplary performances in the last two games were enough to clinch a playoff spot in Division 9, plus, the team’s spirit was back! A win against Western (Anaheim) in the first round of the playoffs could’ve been the start of a deep playoff run. Because of the seeding, the Braves had a home game and in front of their hometown fans, were fighting in every play and never gave up!. However, it was not enough. In the end, the scoreboard showed a 42-37 for Western. The Braves’ season had ended in disappointment.

This year was just not meant to be for the Braves, but, looking forward, it provided lots of learning experiences and hope for the upcoming years. The defense is very young and will improve, with QB Cavin Ross and his starting Outside Receivers, Marcos Maya and Rudy Elizando, as seniors, have a promising upcoming season. We can look forward to them playing in August and the excitement for more great games in the future is already fluctuating. Surely, the team will dearly miss “Djoker” and Sheldon who will move on to play in college. But, as football is a team sport, the Braves will be able to compensate for the losses with strong team performances!

The future looks bright for the Braves!