Prep Spotlight: Lobos Make DIvision III Playoffs

Ranch Dominguez Prep is hoping wide receiver Dominique Huffman will have a big impact on the postseason. Photo Credit: Dennis J. Freeman
Ranch Dominguez Prep is hoping wide receiver Dominique Huffman (13) will have a big impact on the postseason. Photo Credit: Dennis J. Freeman

Rancho Dominguez Prep, a second year football program makes Los Angeles City Section Division III playoffs

There are a lot of people who may not have seen this coming. But the Rancho Dominguez Prep football team hit a milestone in the program’s short history. The Lobos, only in the second year of fielding a varsity football team, have played their way into the postseason.

Despite a defeat at home in the  team’s regular season finale to Division I power Crenshaw , the Lobos were tabbed as the N0. 6 seed in the CIF Los Angeles City Section Division III playoffs. The Lobos will host Chavez High School (No.11 seed) in a first round playoff game.  This is a big deal for anyone familiar with the program.

Even more important than that it is another positive stroke for a school that first opened up with negative stigmas attached to it.Several large race fights between students nearly swallowed up school administrators and prompted news headlines to sprout out on what was wrong and not what is right.

Quarterback Daniel Freeman has passed for over a 1,000 yards this season. Photo Credit: Dennis J. Freeman
Quarterback Daniel Freeman has passed for over a 1,000 yards this season for the Lobos. Photo Credit: Dennis J. Freeman

School administrators have since cracked down on weeding out the bad seeds and removing them from the school to create a new atmosphere for students. That has translated into the school’s athletic program being a vital part of that process. The Rancho Dominguez Prep boys basketball team made a deep run into the postseason last year. And now the school’s football team is hoping to do the same.

Coach Wayne Crawford has had to deal with more than his share of challenges in the last two years just to get the team to where they are today. Coaches have moved on. Key players from last year’s 3-7 squad transferred out of the school. Getting a  lot of of his players acclimated to the sport of football for the first time has also been a tall task for Crawford.

Somehow, someway, Crawford has managed to get the players and coaches he does have around to buy into what he is trying to build. When Crawford first came over to Rancho Dominguez Prep, he was stuck with the prospect of putting together a competitive team that would go up against only one Division III (Hollywood) opponent during the regular season this year.

The Lobos are going to need to play solid defense to go deep into the postseason. Photo Credit: Dennis J. Freeman
The Lobos are going to need to play solid defense to go deep into the postseason. Photo Credit: Dennis J. Freeman

The rest of the Lobos’ schedule this season was going up against traditional Los Angeles City Section stalwarts such as Dorsey, Gardena, Crenshaw, Manual Arts  and Locke. That doesn’t include matching up with Laguna Beach, a CIF Southern Section powerhouse. The Lobos didn’t give up. They didn’t quit. They played on.

Now they get a chance to really show what they can do. Regardless the outcome-hopefully it is a win-the Lobos have accomplished what many thought would not be possible. They’re in the postseason. Against all odds, the Lobos have been invited to the dance. And that is all that matters for the young men in that locker room representing the purple and black and Lobo Nation.

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