Fans Support Santa Rosa in First Varsity Football Game

Santa Rosa Academy's Kylan Bautista protects the ball on a kickoff return against Calvary Chap...

Santa Rosa Academy's Kylan Bautista protects the ball on a kickoff return against Calvary Chapel on Saturday.
(Photo by Brianna Stovall)
A large crowd showed up on Santa Rosa Academy's new campus football field to witness the school's first-ever varsity football game Saturday afternoon.

The outcome was not what the Rangers would've liked -- visiting Calvary Chapel scored a 41-0 victory -- but Santa Rosa coach Bob Burt saw a lot of good things in what happened.

"We had so little experience going in, that it was a good start for the kids to realize what varsity football is all about," Burt said. "We were going up against a team with a lot more experience and size, but every time we go out there, we're going to get better."

In particular, Burt praised the play of linebacker Caleb Smeraldi, linebacker Lance Burden and linebacker/tailback Jacob Hestadalen.

In photo at left, Justin McCullough gains ground against the Calvary Chapel defense. (Photo by Joe Quinn).

Burt also was encouraged by the play of quarterback Antonio Diaz.

"He kept his poise, which was impressive," Burt said. "He met with some adversity, but he handled it well. He's only a sophomore."

Santa Rosa's next game will be at Hamilton High of Anza on Sept. 12. The Rangers' next home game is Sept. 26 against Calvin Christian of Escondido.

"The turnout from families and others in the community was tremendous," Burt said. "It was a huge crowd for our first game. I was pleased with every aspect of the day, other than the score, obviously. I have no negative things to say about it."

Stay tuned to Menifee 24/7 for reports on Santa Rosa Academy football and other sports throughout the school year.

In photo at right, Shane Smith heads into position to make a play. (Photo by Joe Quinn).