The Compton football team has been on a roller coaster of emotions this season.
After getting into the playoffs thanks to an envelope draw, the team was sitting among the 28 finalists in the CIF Southern Section at the banquet hall at the Grand on Monday morning.
The moment was one Compton coach Calvin Bryant was proud of especially with two other Moore League teams and St. Anthony sitting among those finalists.
“This is a great atmosphere,” Bryant said. “A lot of legendary coaches here and great programs and it’s great to see some teams in our league that we played against. We’re all getting the opportunity to play for a championship.”
It’s championship week for Compton — something that haven’t been a part of since 1979 and the Compton athletes know what this means, and they are enjoying the moment.
One of those moments was listening guest speaker Pro Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson give the keynote speech where he spoke about when preparation meets opportunity.
Erick Barrios and Deon Johnson have been meeting the opportunities that come their way and Barrios stepped up to the moment when scored five touchdowns to punch Compton’s ticket to the finals last week during their 52-35 victory against Tahquitz last Friday.
“This means a lot to me,” Barrios said. “This is my first time being here and it’s fun. You get to meet a lot of good students and good players on and off the field. Lot of great coaches and I had a great time today with my first experience.”
Along with Barrios and Johnson, Aava Lilmaiava, Kingston Moa and Samson Tupuola represented Compton at the banquet.
“We’re very honored to be around all these other schools,” Tupuola said. “It’s great to be surrounded by other teams that made it this far in the bracket.”