Football season preview: Eagles start off strong with an opening win

New challenges and big potential are scheduled for this fall


OPHS football team celebrates after their win against Buena

With a win on the road against Buena High School, the Eagles dominated their first varsity football game of the season. Oak Park led the game 14-8 at the end of the first quarter after a 43-yard touchdown run from senior Rowan Heidt. By half time, the Eagles were ahead 20-16. The VC Star predicted a close match-up, and while Buena did take the lead in the third quarter, Oak Park came storming back with two touchdown passes to junior Max Peters.

After holding Buena to a scoreless fourth quarter, an interception by Peters on the defensive end locked in an Oak Park victory, 33-21. Going into the game, the Eagles already had the confidence of a scrimmage win against El Camino.

“The team put in a lot of work over the off-season,” senior JD Baumann said. He added that the team has “a good coaching staff” and that “the culture on the team is pretty good.” 

Another player, senior Lucas Soares Gache, said that the team has “a very powerful offense [and a] very powerful defense.” In fact, Soares Gache said their offensive line “is looking better than it has in years.” 

Oak Park’s strong start is vital to the team, especially with the addition of Camarillo and Newbury Park to their division. A showdown between Oak Park and the two larger schools is looming in the coming weeks. 

“I expect a lot of good football to be played in our league. Each week we play a league game it is essentially a playoff game,” Head Coach Casey Webb wrote to the Talon. “[It] makes coaching and playing way more fun.”

Overall, Soares Gache says the new threats in Oak Park’s football division will be a challenge, but, “the more competition the better.”

Students should make their way to the stands for home games on Aug. 26 against Calabasas and Sept. 16 against Thousand Oaks. Alumni Night will be at home on Sept. 9, Senior Night on Oct. 14. Away games worth the watch face Moorpark on Sept. 23, Newbury Park on Oct. 21 and Royal on Oct. 28. You can find all of Oak Park’s games on the official schedule.

As for the home game all Eagles should attend, Sept. 30 is the date to save.

“Our rivalry game is against Agoura and it is on homecoming,” Webb wrote. “The stadium better be more packed and louder than ever for that game.”

The team will continue to improve throughout the season, bonding and connecting with one another while honing their skills to execute plays.

“I am hoping to just build on consistency with our program,” Webb wrote. “I want our kids to just get better each week and if that happens we will win a lot of football games this year.”