Dons look to lasso Lancers

CCHS will play Carlsbad High School tomorrow to begin its playoff run


Photo by Alex Woodmansee

Cathedral Catholic High School varsity football team quarterback, Charlie Mirer ‘22 throws his hands in the air after a comeback victory against Western League rival, Saint Augustine High School.

Shea Linnehan, Sports editor

The Cathedral Catholic High School varsity football team takes on Carlsbad High School at Manchester Stadium for the second straight year in the San Diego Section California Interscholastic Federation Open Division Playoffs this Friday.

CCHS (8-2) (3-1) earned the number two overall seed in the San Diego Section CIF Open Division Playoffs and home field advantage against CHS (9-1) (6-0), the number three seed. 

The Dons and Lancers both won their respective leagues, playing consistent football during the season.

CCHS topped CHS last season in the CIF Open Division Playoffs 35-0, and advanced to the San Diego Section Championship against Torrey Pines High School, a game in which CCHS won 28-17. 

CCHS is undefeated when leading going into halftime this season, proving a hot start is key for the Dons this week.

“We need to come out firing in the first half,” CCHS quarterback Charlie Mirer ‘22 said. “I think we need to limit our penalties and stay focused at the task at hand.”

CCHS’ ground and pound attack behind Shawn Poma ‘19 and Josh Lewis ‘19 wore the Lancers down last season, but CCHS simply wants to play 60 complete minutes of football this Friday.

“To replicate last year’s performance, we need to make sure we keep our energy up all game,” CCHS cornerback Eric Virissimo ‘21 said.

Led by wide receiver Cole Wright ‘20, the Lancers possess a heavy air raid attack, boasting more than 200 air yards a game. In contrast, the Dons combination of Zavien Watson ‘20, Matt Bryant ‘20, Christian Hall ‘21, and Lucky Sutton ‘22 average a combined 287 yards per game on the ground.

CCHS’ high-level play at the beginning of the season has paved the way for a playoff berth and the emergence of a common mindset among players.

“The big wins early in the season set a standard for our team and what we are able to achieve,” CCHS offensive lineman Chase Lindgren ‘20 said. “Going into playoffs we know our capabilities, and we know what will happen if we play our best.”

CCHS knows the journey is not over, the Dons are aware of the task at hand and the dedication that is needed.

“It’s always difficult to keep a team focused this far along in a season, but it is absolutely essential if we hope to win out,” Lindgren said.

Mirer, a sophomore quarterback, has become comfortable with the CCHS offense after taking over the reins from the veteran gunslinger, D.J. Ralph ‘20. 

“I’ve had a couple of weeks to get better,” Mirer said. “Overall, I’m feeling comfortable and confident in our team and how we can play.”

The top-seeded Helix Charter High School faces off with Saint Augustine High School this Friday to round out the four-team playoff. 

The winners of both sides of the bracket will meet in the championship at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California on Nov. 23. 

CCHS is familiar with HCHS and SAHS, experiencing a 35-14 comeback win against SAHS and a 45-27 defeat against HCHS. 

The Dons hope to meet with one of these teams soon, but it understands the execution needed to get there.

“We treat each week of practice like it’s our last, knowing that we are guaranteed nothing from here on out,” Lindgren said.