Key injuries take a toll

FOOTBALL Brahmas have yet to win a game as the team has gone 0-6 in league and preseason.



Sophomore Dylan Karanickolas returned against Bonita and scored three touchdowns, including a rushing TD.

Catherine Liu, Staff Writer

Missing its offensive anchor and captain, the Diamond Bar High School football team has started the season with a rough start, losing all five preseason games and playing without their starting quarterback and center due to injuries.

The Brahmas lost 21-15 against the Walnut Mustangs at Branding Iron and then faced another loss against the Alta Loma Braves with a score of 19-22. Afterwards, the team lost against Covina Colts with a 35-0 and lost against Brea Olinda Wildcats with a 31-14.

“We’re low in numbers, so one thing that we have learned is courage and the will to fight because kids have come in who [previously] have not seen the field,” head coach Kevin Argumosa said.

In a 50-12 loss against San Dimas Saints, sophomore center Jonathan Song did not play due to a concussion while backup center junior Alex Fuentes was out with a broken thumb. Argumosa was forced to put in their third string center during halftime.

“We [put] in Jack Rukes, who plays in JV, but our JV playbook is a little different then varsity sometimes,” Argumosa said.

The team’s linemen have been working on helping Rukes adapt to varsity plays while ensuring that they are also able to focus on their own roles during the game.

The football team also felt the absence of sophomore quarterback, Dylan Karanickolas, who missed two games due to a high ankle sprain. The team struggled to find replacements for Karanickolas, as the backup QB was out with an injury while the third string QB recently transferred schools. In the last three games, Argumosa has relied on defensive backs senior Charles Miller and junior Darryn Ongsing.

“We were down to two kids who didn’t really play quarterback but they just said ‘hey coach, we’ll take care of it and we’ll do what we can do’,” Argumosa said.

However, in the first league game of the season, the Brahmas lost a close match against the Bonita Bearcats with the return of their starting quarterback. Karanickolas  recovered from his injury and scored three touchdowns, but the team ultimately faced the loss of 42-39 when the Bearcats scored a touchdown in the last minutes of the game.

While the team faces the challenge of playing with different personnel, the boys have also been acclimating to the new coaching staff. Song states that the team had to relearn new offensive and defensive schemes;

in addition, they have faced a new style of discipline.

“When someone did something wrong, our coach would punish the whole team, which made us realize that there is 39 other guys who are impacted by their actions,” Song said via Facebook.

He said that the team has been focusing more on fundamentals, which is relearning the proper footwork and blocking techniques.Argumosa states that the Brahmas need to improve more on getting past the little mistakes, such as getting to practice on time, avoiding fumbles and jumping offsides.

“We’re just trying to figure out what’s going to be the best [for the team] and what’s going to fit the guys,” Argumosa said.