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Moreno Valley College Herald

Moreno Valley College Herald

Valley View High Eagles finally begin to soar

Valley View High School Head Football Coach, Pete Smolin, look on closely during football practice (Eric Pacheco)

Valley View High School Football has been at the bottom of the Inland Valley League since 2018, scratching to win at least one game over the last five years. Head Coach Pete Smolin entered his third year at Valley View with only two wins (2-18 overall). So far this season in eight games he has already surpassed that two-win mark (4-4 overall). 

It’s Wednesday at the Valley View football field. Morale is high among the players and coaches. Coming off a Homecoming game victory over cross-town rival Canyon Springs in their league opener pushing their winning streak to three games. Senior defensive lineman Ryder Gaines is in a particularly cheerful mood due to his interception as time expired that helped clinch the victory over Canyon Springs last Friday night. “It felt good man,” Gaines said smiling widely.   

This newfound success is something Coach Smolin always knew would come. Smolin, who’s coached football for 30 years with 22 of those years as a head coach across the high school and collegiate level emphasized that it takes time to build a program. The Eagles moniker “A.C.E” is something Smolin has preached from day one. “Attitude, Character, and Effort are the three things that you have 100 percent control of in life,” Smolin said. “Being upfront and honest as a coaching staff and modeling positivity for the players is another key to building a program.”

Two key players for the Eagles have been seniors Arranson Lippert and Gaines. Lippert, a defensive lineman, has recorded 14 sacks across eight games so far this season according to MaxPreps.com and Gaines leads the team in tackles per game with 11.4. Both Gaines and Lippert are a part of the team’s leadership core, which Lippert described as an “extension of the coaches.”  Lippert noted that this year’s team has built a family connection and bought into the process of the grind.

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“In the past few years, I feel like players were talking bad about the team and not giving their full effort,” Lippert said. “This year the coaches have chowed down on us and our effort,” he added.    

The tough seasons can be attributed to scheduling Coach Smolin pointed out. In 2022, seven of their 10 opponents were in the top 25 rankings in the SoCal area. This season an adjusted schedule against opponents more reflective of their level of competition, has placed Valley View in a position to be more competitive in league play. “It’s all about momentum and confidence,” Smolin said.

Valley View High School’s offensive line prepares for its next league matchup (Eric Pacheco)

 “We’re learning how to control that and maintain that without getting too cocky,” Gaines added. Winning those games has given them a boost as they entered league play.    

Talent, ability, and doing what you’re supposed to do has never been a question for Smolin. “We had a good feeling about last year’s team, the same way we do about this year’s team,” he said. “It’s just the way the ball bounced for us in games we should’ve won, we didn’t” Smolin stated. However, the confidence in his players never wavered despite the struggles. “I knew we had dudes, through last season, the offseason, and coming into this year we kind of already knew,” Smolin said.      

The success of the football team has been felt around the Valley View campus. Associated Student Body Director, Marissa Zarate said it had been a long time since she’d seen students excited the way they were following the Homecoming game. Excitement and participation in activities around campus such as spirit days carries into the game and creates a positive environment that extends into the success on the football field, Zarate said. “The culture has been cultivated and has been spilling over into the athletic programs,” said first-year Principal Dr. Anthony Rice.   

One more win guarantees the Eagles a .500-win season which hasn’t happened for the team in six years. That win will also give them a chance at an at-large bid for the CIF-SS Playoffs. If the Eagles win both of their final two matchups, they will automatically clinch a playoff berth which also hasn’t occurred since 2017. If the Eagles make the playoffs, they will be vying for the school’s second CIF-SS Football championship, and the first since 2016.   

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About the Contributor
Eric Pacheco, Staff Writer
Eric Pacheco is a first-year student at Moreno Valley College. Eric is majoring in Journalism in pursuit of a professional career in the world of Sports Journalism.
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Comments (5)

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  • J

    Jerome RalphOct 27, 2023 at 3:47 pm

    Coach Smolen is a winner and great role model for his players. They are lucky to have him. Coach Ralph

    Reply
  • M

    Ms. ZarateOct 27, 2023 at 12:16 am

    Greta article! Keep them coming. 🙂

    Reply
  • M

    Madison DOct 26, 2023 at 9:35 pm

    What a talented journalist ☺️

    Reply
  • M

    Madison DOct 26, 2023 at 9:33 pm

    Wonderful Article!! Proud of these kids

    Reply
  • K

    Kendra DOct 26, 2023 at 4:09 pm

    Awesome! Let’s Go Eagles!
    Great job coaches!

    Reply