Importance of the CCHS Honor Bowl


Hagen Ward

CCHS Dons join together in their best red, white, and blue to honor our troops and cheer on the Dons. “You can’t out-football the Dons,” As stated by senior, Sean Kagen!

The Honor Bowl means more than the Dons coming together in red, white, and blue to watch some football. For the past twelve years, the Honor Bowl has been a series of games in honor of our Armed Forces and CCHS has hosted teams from San Diego, Los Angeles, Arizona, Utah, New Jersey, and Florida to play in this series.

For football players, the Honor Bowl acts as a showcase where you never play the same team twice. For our community the Honor Bowl is meant to honor families, active members, and fallen soldiers. Cathedral’s announcement staff, security staff, night crew, and coaches work hard to host this huge event. However, Cathedral Catholic did not start this tradition.

The Honor Group was started by a man named Mark Soto. Soto was a high school football coach with two sons who played high school football. After high school, his sons enlisted. Watching one of his sons come back after being injured in action and the other with PTSD, he felt compelled to help make a difference.

As a high school football coach, he took over The Battle of the Capital, which later morphed into, The Honor Bowl. The mission of the Honor Bowl is to “educate students, coaches, and communities about American patriotism while raising financial resources for injured, ill, and wounded veterans.”

On Friday, September 2, at 7:30 in the Manchester Stadium, CCHS will be hosting the Honor Bowl game in which our Dons will be playing. Families of members who have been killed in the line of duty are presented and honored at the beginning of the game.

In the past, Cathedral Catholic has honored students who have lost their parents overseas. This year, we are honoring the family of a lost soldier. We also honor their memory with a moment of silence.

In Coach Joe Montali’s perspective, the game “honors the men and women who are doing the groundwork to keep this country free so we can play games like football.” We honor the people protecting us from afar.

In addition, all of the proceeds that go towards the games here and in the Northern California Honor Bowl, will go towards equipping injured veterans. In the past, they have provided veterans that lost their lower limbs with high tech wheelchairs. This year, the Honor Group will be providing companion service dogs to veterans with PTSD.

In an interview with Cathedral’s inside linebacker, Sean Kagen ‘23. Kagen reflects on how it feels to play in this upcoming game stating: “Personally a lot of my family members have served so it’s cool to be able to do this event for them and play this game for them, with them in attendance and all the other active military and veterans watching.”

Kagen isn’t the only student at Cathedral Catholic that has had family members in the Armed Forces, giving this game a greater purpose. Alum and varsity football coach, Connor Sorohan ‘06, is an Army infantry veteran. He strongly believes that “honoring our troops is honoring them through all of our actions. You guys (the football team) are not only honoring them by going out and winning your game but in all of your actions. I wear the names of 5 buddies that didn’t make it home from deployment. I make sure that every day when I wake up I’m making them proud because they gave their life for me, and all of you.”

“A lot of us have either had family members that have served in the military or coaches that have served in the military.” Montali states, “There’s a bigger picture. You know, we kind of forget sometimes that we have a great country that allows us to do a lot of things that other places don’t get to do and a lot of it is in tribute to those overseas fighting the good fight and allowing us to play sports and live our lives.”

Coach Sean Doyle, as well, would like to remind our community that “a lot of other countries are not having high school football games, or high school anything because of war and conflict.”

America is blessed to have brave men and women fighting on the front lines for our freedom and The Honor Bowl allows us to show great pride for the sacrifices our Armed Forces have made for our country.

Montali states it best: “Some of them have paid the ultimate price of giving up their life for our country and for our freedom. We honor them all, but in particular, honor the ones who have passed.”