In Bob Midgley's inaugural season as head coach, Sonoma Valley High School's varsity football boys delivered an auspicious regular season that produced a 7-3 overall record and a 4-2 Sonoma County League mark good for second place, and punched their ticket into the postseason.
Seeded 10th in North Coast Section Division-3, the Dragons faced a big and fast seventh-seeded Acalanes team in Saturday's NCS opener in Lafayette and turned in a hard-fought, postseason effort that, unfortunately, was played out in total comeback mode.
Yielding two touchdowns in a 13-second span midway through the first quarter, Sonoma scored on a 20-yard field goal by junior Noe Baron, before giving up another touchdown and facing a 21-3 deficit.
With the first half winding down, the Dragons answered back with an impressive 11-play drive, fueled by senior Austin Bailey's two 16-yard runs, with standout quarterback Dan Deely threading the needle on a 19-yard pass to fellow senior Ed Pomeroy, who made an outstanding end-zone catch in traffic for a touchdown.
But Pomeroy hurt his shoulder on the second-quarter highlight play and was done for the game. Deely joined him on the sidelines after sustaining a third-quarter foot injury and Acalanes cruised to a 49-10 win and Sonoma's upbeat season came to an end.
“I believe we came a long way this season as a team. We began the season very young at linebacker and defensive end and cornerback; we did not have any starting players returning in these positions. The kids stepped up and learned on the run and accepted the challenge and answered it all year,” said Midgley. “We had very solid senior leadership in three-year varsity starters seniors Matthew Robinson and Dan Deely. Seniors Mitch Hood and Austin Bailey also contributed as great leaders and a nucleus to build around. With those teammates, the juniors had outstanding peers to follow and learn from. The junior group as a whole learned very quickly that there is no short cut, and if you want something you have to work hard for it on the football field. I am very proud of this team and our efforts through the season.”
“We have nothing to hang our heads about as I believe we left it out on the field,” Midgley continued. “I am a very fortunate coach and was surrounded by outstanding men as assistant coaches, as well as our jayvee and frosh coaches. I would also like to thank the community for supporting all SVHS teams this season.”
Comprising the 2013 Sonoma varsity football team – directed by first-year head coach Midgley, assistant coaches Justin Weaver, Damien Magnani and Max Pond, and longtime head trainer John Holden and assistant trainer Mike Gilman – were seniors Baily, Deely, Hood, Pomeroy, Robinson, Hank Anderson, JJ Bollman, Dante Chipchase, Todd Decendario, Joe Decker, Cordell Kenniston, Kyler Fritz, Jake Lantz, Wyatt Lennon, Dario Minatta, Jose Rubio, Brandon Santana and Jose Valencia; juniors Baron, Andre Alcantar, Gabe Bernstein, Jack Biaggi, Vince Caruso, Kyle Dunevent, Nick Fantozzi, Cyle Gusse, Alex Gustafson, Graham Herder, Cedric Hernandez, Jackson Keechler, Derek Lewis, Jacob Little, Tristan Mertens, Dominc Sanfilippo, Mike Seelye, Mark Shipston, Luke Vaughn and Trevor Welch; and sophomore Sam Cordano.