October 17, 2003

SWC Goes To College Of The Desert In Search Of Oasis

Jaguars Looks To Get Back On The Winning Track

By Jaime Cárdenas
SWC Interim Sports Information Director

CHULA VISTA – The Southwestern College Jaguars football team travels to Palm Desert this Saturday to face the College of the Desert Roadrunners.

After losing to Grossmont and Chaffey —two of the premier programs in the state— the injury plagued Jaguars (1-3, 2-4) look to snap a three-game losing streak that is threatening their playoff chances against the Roadrunners (0-3, 1-4).

“We’ve lost to the best, now we must beat the rest,” said Jaguars head coach Walt Justice. “We have to execute our plays at game level… with 11 guys doing what they are supposed to do.”

In Saturday’s 45-0 lost to Chaffey College the Jaguars lost four players for the remainder of the season due to injury. They have lost nine players dating back to August. This has hampered the Jaguars in recent week when trying to simulate game speed in practice.

“We’ve been dealing with it [the injuries],” said Ernie Pelayo. “We are going to miss the guys, but we have to play on. We need to execute and go all out on every play. We cannot take a play off.”

Pelayo, the Jaguars starting left tackle, knows all to well about dealing with a season-ending injury. Last year, he red-shirted the season with a shoulder injury he suffered the week before the season started – he said it was the hardest experience he had ever gone through.

When asked what the Jaguars need to due this Saturday to get a win, wide receiver David Bellinger said the team must try to have fun and remained focused, but acknowledge that the team is starting to get limited due to injuries.

Justice, always teaching and always positive, views the injuries and the losing streak as a learning opportunity.

“Adversity can make a team go one of two ways,” he said, “and I believe it has made us come together. It has made us work through the little things to make each play better... I think we are now able to learn from our mistakes.”

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