Author photo

By Corey Costelloe
contributing writer 

Another historic year for the Warriors

Xs and Arrows

 

May 11, 2024



It is amazing that we are once again heading into the tail end of the athletics season at Tehachapi High School. So much was accomplished and as usual, there is so much left to do.

What a great historic season for the Warriors and Lady Warriors across a variety of sports. There of course was football, who posted a perfect 10-0 record during the regular season, only to fall victim to below-board CIF Central Section playoff seeding policies that bumped the Warriors up a division to the Division II bracket, and worse than that, a No. 9 seed which meant no home games for the deserving team and community. Positive aspect, we beat, no, we crushed the mighty Bakersfield Drillers for the first time in history in the first round and successfully took over their historic stadium with a Tehachapi-heavy fan base.

Despite losing to eventual Section Champion Central Valley Christian (private school which brings up a host of other issues for another time), the Warriors season was a statement that Mountain Football is esteemed once again. To build on that, several top performers have committed to continue their education and football play at the collegiate level.

Girl’s volleyball and basketball dominated their leagues again and had successful playoff appearances. For girls’ basketball that meant a second-annual trip to Selland Arena in Fresno for the CIF Division II championship. Unfortunately, they fell in that game and the subsequent CIF State Tournament, but again it was par for the course with Tehachapi appearing in yet another title game coming off three home playoff games in front of a packed gymnasium.

There were several other league titles like girl’s wrestling who officially established themselves as a stand alone program this season, sending the first brother-sister combination to the CIF State Finals with Levi and Reese Hart etching their name in history. Head coach Curtis Nelson received the All-Area Coach of the Year award for his efforts on the girl’s wrestling side. As an enthusiastic advocate for the sport, Nelson was a natural fit for the girl’s program, and he has recruited a talented staff that made history in just one season.

There were stand out performances all season at a variety of competition levels, participation numbers continue to grow, kids are engaging in their sports programs again and the community is reciprocating with support ranging from attendance to donations.

The spring sports are continuing as postseason competition ramps up, the girls swim team captured a league title and are actively involved in Central Section and eventually CIF State championship meets in the coming days. The baseball and softball teams wrapped up league championships as Tehachapi continues to dominate the South Yosemite Mountain League for the second consecutive season. It will be no surprise come the 2025-26 season to see our Warriors being elevated to a far more competitive league, which given today’s standards for playoff seeding in the Central Section may assist with making CIF Championships more attainable given how the strength of the league schedule impacts postseason considerations.

The Warriors baseball and Lady Warriors softball teams have a three-game non-league series with Arvin prior to the start of the CIF playoffs to keep fresh prior to the start of what hopes to be a respectable playoff run.

I am happy to report that continuing progress on facilities and the student-athlete experience is now a joint priority with the Warrior Booster Club and the Tehachapi Unified School District. There have been great discussions and movement on several issues to not only extend the life of some of our more historic facilities, but for planning the future accordingly as well. While some improvements might seem “minor” they have a resounding impact on student-athletes, fans and supporters. I am extremely optimistic about the future for our kids.

As the spring winds down, eyes start to head toward football season, which is the tone setter in the fall for the athletic year. The schedule has been released for next season which includes six home games, including a step up in competition as the home opener is slated for Aug. 30 against Bakersfield Christian. The other home opponents include Taft, Golden West of Visalia, West, Golden Valley and South.

But before then, we hope for a glorious end to the spring for those competing for Tehachapi and hopefully more accolades to add to another outstanding year.

Corey Costelloe has covered NCAA, professional and local sports for more than 20 years as a reporter, broadcaster and athletics administrator. He advocates for the value of athletic competition and serves as the President of the Tehachapi Warriors Booster Club. He can be reached at corey.costelloe@gmail.com.

 
 

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